Statement by Steve Knott AM, Chief Executive, Australian Resources and Energy Group AMMA

Australian Resources and Energy Group AMMA strongly backs the Prime Minister’s move to order an urgent review into Australia’s industrial relations framework, with a view to cut red tape, address inefficiencies and unnecessary costs of the system.

It is clear that Australia’s industrial relations system is failing employers, employees and the economy.

Current complexities of the system impact significantly on business growth and hold back future employment opportunities. Reforms should focus on improving relations between employers and employees, lifting business confidence, encouraging real wage rises and restoring Australia’s reputation as an attractive place to invest and do business.

The following industrial relations reforms have been identified by AMMA members as the highest priorities for fixing Australia’s failing IR system. AMMA will assiduously advocate these changes to the Morrison Government during any review of the system and throughout the 46th Parliament of Australia.

  1. Pass the Ensuring Integrity Bill to protect members of registered organisations from corruption, unlawfulness and misappropriate use of funds and positions of power.
  2. Restore common sense to casual employment and avoid a potential multi-billion dollar cost exposure to businesses small, medium and large.
  3. Enable life-of-project greenfields agreements to provide industrial certainty to major project investors and encourage the next wave of project development.
  4. Address the rapid decline in enterprise agreement making due to unnecessary complexities and onerous Fair Work Commission approval processes.
  5. Reform the Adverse Action provisions and remove a growing area of legal complexity and cost, clogging up our courts with vexatious claims and encouraging employers to pay settlements for claims without merit.
  6. Restore balance to unfair dismissal laws including that employers should be supported in terminating employees found to have breached safety and/or community standards of conduct.
  7. Improve the performance of the Fair Work Commission through carefully selected appointments, structural improvements and addressing process inefficiencies.

AMMA is working closely with our members and the broader business community to develop a business case for each of these proposed changes, ensuring necessary reforms to get Australia’s IR system back on track.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brad Thompson, 0409 781 580