Australian Resources and Energy Group AMMA welcomes the appointment of Christian Porter as Minister for Industrial Relations in the new Morrison Ministry.

“As both the Attorney General and now Minister for Industrial Relations, we expect compliance with Australia’s workplace laws to be of high priority to Minister Porter,” said Steve Knott, AMMA Chief Executive.

“Providing Australia’s first law officer with additional responsibilities for industrial relations will no doubt help address community concerns about levels of disregard for our nation’s workplace laws, at times seemingly broken with impunity.

“Of course this is not the full extent of the IR portfolio. In line with the Prime Minister’s commitment to improving inefficiencies in the public service, AMMA will encourage Minister Porter to review the performance and processes of the Fair Work Commission (FWC).

“For example, employers are very concerned about the FWC’s performance with what should be basic administrative tasks, such as the approval of enterprise agreements taking on average 76 days, and in some cases much longer, to complete.

“Such inefficiency is unacceptable. It delays employees getting pay increases and is driving employers to bypass future enterprise bargaining. An option may be to move this function to the better-resourced Fair Work Ombudsman to ensure approval times become days not months.”

More broadly, Mr Knott said improvements to the workplace relations system would unlock future national opportunities, particularly in the resources and energy industry where investor confidence is returning.

“Productivity-boosting improvements to Australia’s workplace relations system will be critical to securing new major projects providing employment and economic prosperity,” Mr Knott said.

“We look forward to working with Minister Porter to both address uncompetitive, problematic aspects of the Fair Work Act, and begin the longer term journey toward setting Australia’s workplace relations system up for the future.

Mr Porter is well known to AMMA and our members. He has already shown a strong understanding of key challenges and opportunities facing employers in the area of industrial relations.”

Mr Knott further congratulated all Ministers appointed to the Morrison frontbench, including the retention of Matthew Canavan as Minister for Resources and Northern Australia.

“Minister Canavan has done an outstanding job in coordinating the Resources 2030 Taskforce, bringing industry and governments together in this journey, and developing the new National Resources Statement,” he said.

“AMMA looks forward to working closely with Minister Canavan as he puts this significant plan for the future of our industry in place, particularly on the ‘people’ elements including skills, training and workforce mobility.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Brad Thompson, 0409 781 580

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