Christian Porter is the new Minister for Industrial Relations in the revamped Morrison Ministry, also retaining his position of Attorney General in the 46th Parliament of Australia.
“In Industrial Relations, my initial focus will be on the law enforcement aspects of the portfolio, ensuring adherence with Australia’s industrial relations laws, particularly on building sites across Australia,” Minister Porter said.
AMMA Chief Executive Steve Knott welcomed his appointment.
“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,” he said.
“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).”
Mr Knott said employers were concerned about the FWC’s performance in completing basic administrative tasks, such as the approval of enterprise agreements taking on average 76 days, and in some cases much longer.
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.
“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,” he said.
Mr Knott further congratulated all Ministers appointed to the Morrison frontbench, including the retention of Senator Matthew Canavan as Minister for Resources and Northern Australia.
New IR Shadow Minister as ALP announces frontbench
Tony Burke has been appointed Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations in Labor’s Shadow Ministry.
Mr Burke, a union organiser for the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association from 1997-2003, tweeted he was “really happy” with the announcement, saying he will “be on the frontline of defending people’s pay and conditions at work in the IR portfolio”.
Mr Burke remains a prominent Labor frontbencher as manager of Opposition business in the House of Representatives.
AMMA and its members welcome Mr Burke and look forward to the Opposition pursuing policies that unlocks future national opportunities Australia’s workplace relations system.
After six years as Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations, Brendan O’Connor moves to the Employment, Industry, Science, Small and Family Business portfolios.
Joel Fitzgibbon has been reappointed as Shadow Minister for Agriculture and also takes on the resources portfolio.
In other relevant frontbench roles for AMMA members, Tanya Plibersek remains Shadow Minister for Education and Training, Murray Watt takes on the Northern Australia portfolio.
Newly-appointed Opposition leader Anthony Albanese said his frontbench had the “talent and experience” to hold the Morrison Government to account and develop a policy platform worthy of the support of Australians at the next election.
“My team includes a blend of experienced former Government Ministers, as well as talented newcomers whose enthusiasm and fresh ideas will reinvigorate Labor over the next three years,” he said.