NSW lists its concerns on IR powers referral

News

NSW lists its concerns on IR powers referral

The NSW Government has set out its concerns regarding referring its IR powers to the Commonwealth, and says the Federal Government has adopted its view that coercive powers are not required in the state’s construction industry.

WantToReadMore

Get unlimited access to all of our content.

The NSW Government has set out its concerns regarding referring its IR powers to the Commonwealth, and says the Federal Government has adopted its view that coercive powers are not required in the state’s construction industry.
 
IR Minister John Hatzistergos said in Question Time yesterday that he was still in discussions with the Federal Government on the referral of IR powers.
 
Four states have agreed to do so: Victoria, South Australia Queensland and Tasmania. Only Victoria has finalised the referral.
 
Hatzistergos said NSW will not make any decision about our involvement in the national system, until all the Fair Work legislation has passed the Senate.
 
He said the decision to refer is not one that ought to be taken lightly.
 
‘It is a decision that will affect 200,000 small businesses in NSW and 500,000 employees,’ he said.
 
Three major issues
 
Hatzistergos said he was particularly concerned about three issues.
 
‘Firstly, the Industrial Relations Commission should play a significant role and should not to be isolated from the private sector,’ he said.
 
‘Secondly, the line determining what comes under the national system and what comes under the New South Wales system should be clear.
 
‘Thirdly, our most vulnerable workers should be assisted by targeted compliance and education campaigns.’
 
The remaining state, WA, is holding a review of its IR system and will make no decision on referral until that is completed.
 
Hatzistergos said that on 11 June 2009, IR Ministers from across the country met for the 82nd Workplace Relations Ministers Council (WRMC).
 
He said that as well as referral, the WRMC also featured discussion concerning the regulation of the building and construction industry.
 
Hatzistergos said the State Government has argued that coercive powers are not required in New South Wales.
 
No illegal behaviour in NSW’
 
‘After all, the Wilcox Report did not identify any illegal behaviour in the construction industry in New South Wales,’ he said.
 
‘Wilcox recommended that coercive powers of compulsory interrogation remain because of situations in other jurisdictions.
 
‘However, he also recommended that safeguards be put in place to prevent the abuse of these coercive powers.
 
‘It appears as though the Commonwealth has adopted the Wilcox recommendations and also the views of the NSW in drafting amendments to the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Act.
 
‘I support the efforts of the Deputy Prime Minister to reconcile the disparate positions of stakeholders in this manner.’
Post details