25 September 2014

AMMA (Australian Mines and Metals Association) – The resource industry employer group

SPEAKING at a major Melbourne mining and resources conference today, AMMA chief executive Steve Knott welcomed the Palmer United Party and other crossbench Senators voting with the Coalition Government to defeat a damaging Greens motion on industrial relations.

Last night, all three PUP Senators joined the Motoring Enthusiast Party’s Ricky Muir, Family First’s Bob Day and Liberal Democratic Party’s David Leyonhjelm, to vote against the Greens and Labor and support a recent government amendment that allowed third party’s to potentially stop damaging strike action before it occurs (background here).

Presenting today at the 2014 International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC), AMMA’s Mr Knott said the result paved the way for further workplace reforms that would prolong the resource industry’s prosperity and widely support productivity, competitiveness and employment growth.

“The defeat of the Greens’ disallowance motion last night was a very positive outcome for any employer which has been, or could be inadvertently impacted by damaging strikes in areas of the supply chain in which it has no control,” Mr Knott told IMARC delegates today.

“It was also a very positive result for communities in Western Australia, given this new regulation now provides the WA government with the same ability to intervene in serious industrial disputes as has been afforded to other Australian states since 2009.

“The much welcome support of the PUP and other crossbench senators on this important issue is an encouraging sign that other critical workplace relations changes could be progressed through Parliament by the Australian Government.”

In his speech, Mr Knott outlined the six priority areas of workplace reform as identified by resource industry employers, including restoring the rules of unions entering workplaces to the pre-2009 model and creating a process for new project agreement making that encourages and supports future project investment.

With the government’s Fair Work Amendment Bill 2014 already addressing these two important issues, but currently stalled in the Upper House, the AMMA chief called on the crossbench Senators to now support the urgent passing of these amendments.

“These are modest changes but address specific workplace issues that have impacted competitiveness and productivity in resource industry operations,” Mr Knott said.

“In a highly globally exposed industry, such ineffective, uncompetitive domestic policies create real barriers and distractions away from leadership and innovation.

“We must not rest on our laurels while there is more investment capital out there that will fuel our next wave of resource projects, bringing further jobs and economic value to this country.”

Click here to read AMMA CEO Steve Knott’s presentation to IMARC 2014.

For a PDF of this release including relevant media contact, click here.