AMMA policy manager Julie Copley summarises three Bills currently before New South Wales parliament, amending important industrial relations, occupational health and safety, and training laws across the state.

Industrial Relations Amendment (Industrial Court) Bill 2013

On 11 September 2013, the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice informed the NSW Parliament that four of the five judges of the Industrial Court had decided to retire before reaching the mandatory retirement age of 72.

The Industrial Relations Amendment (Industrial Court) Bill 2013 was introduced into the NSW Parliament on 16 October 2013 by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice.

The bill would allow a single judge of the Industrial Court to hear most matters currently heard by three judges (proceedings for contempt, appeals from the Local Court and promotional and disciplinary appeals).

Matters relating to deregistration of industrial organisations would be heard by a full bench of the Industrial Relations Commission, rather than a full bench of the Industrial Court. For these proceedings, a full benches of the commission would comprise one judicial member and two other members who are Australian lawyers.

The only matters to be removed from the Industrial Relations Commission would be appeals against decisions made by a single judge of the Industrial Court. These matters would be heard by the Court of Appeal or Court of Criminal Appeal.

To read the Bill, click here.

Work Health and Safety Amendment Bill 2013

The bill was introduced into the NSW Parliament on 16 October 2013 by the Minister for Finance and Services.

The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 would be amended to place it beyond doubt that prosecutions under the previous Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 (repealed) may be brought in the District Court.

To read the Bill, click here.

Skills Board Bill 2013

The Skills Board Bill has passed the NSW Parliament’s Lower House and introduced into the Upper House.

The objective of the bill is to establish the NSW Skills Board for the purposes of:

  • Providing the Minister with an independent, strategic perspective on the vocational education and training system in NSW, with a view to strengthening the State’s economy and skills base and promoting flexibility and choice for the vocational education and training industry and consumers; and
  • Overseeing major reform of the vocational education and training system in NSW.

To read the Bill, click here.