THE resource industry welcomes four high calibre appointees to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) as Minister for Employment Michaelia Cash injects new business experience and practical competencies into Australia’s national workplace tribunal.

AMMA chief executive Steve Knott, says new Deputy Presidents Melanie Binet and Richard Clancy, and Commissioners Katrina Harper-Greenwell and Jennifer Hunt, are high calibre, merit-based appointees well-placed to assist employers and employees in navigating Australia’s workplace laws now and into the future.

“It’s no secret that when last in government, Labor overwhelmingly slanted its appointments to its own industrial alumni, with 18 of the 27 new members to the tribunal coming from trade union or ALP-affiliated backgrounds,” Mr Knott says.

“Minister Cash’s new appointees have demonstrated business experience, including in managing complex resources and infrastructure projects, and should be welcomed by all with an interest in a balanced and modern workplace relations system, productive enterprises and diversity.

“It is further welcomed that Minister Cash, who is also Minister for Women, has improved the gender diversity of the FWC by appointing three additional women to the Commission, all bringing a wealth of practical experience to their new roles.”

Mr Knott says the Federal Opposition’s criticism of these appointments shows the ALP is ‘out of touch with the professional and modern workplace relations system Australia needs’.

“Mr O’Connor’s call for trade union alumni to continue to dominate FWC appointments in the 21st Century lacks credibility when just 11% of Australians working in the private sector choose to participate in trade unions,” Mr Knott says.

“Australian employers and employees need appointments to our workplace tribunal to better reflect 21st Century workplaces and the diversity of the Australian community.

“AMMA, which represents the national resource industry and manages the Australian Women in Resources Alliance, congratulates the Minister in making these 21st Century appointments and looks forward to further high calibre, well regarded individuals filling future tribunal vacancies.”

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