Release type: Media Release


Way clear for Western Australia to join national system


Senator the Hon Chris Evans
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations
Leader of the Government in the Senate

The Barnett Government’s decision to shelve a radical industrial relations reform agenda clears the way for Western Australian to join the national workplace relations system, Minister for Workplace Relations, Senator Chris Evans, said today.

Senator Evans welcomed Premier Barnett’s rejection of the Independent Review of the State Industrial Relations System in Western Australia – a report prepared by former Howard Government industrial relations advisor, Steven Amendola. “With the shelving of the Amendola review, the path is now clear for the Barnett Government to meet business demands for the state to join the national industrial relations system,” Senator Evans said.

“The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia has made it clear that WA’s decision not to participate in the national system is bad for business.

“Western Australian business are not sharing in the substantial savings, estimated at $4.83 billion over the next decade, which have resulted from the introduction of a single, national system for the private sector.”

Western Australia is the only State yet to refer its industrial relations powers to the Commonwealth to enable the Fair Work Act to apply in a uniform way.

“Unlike Tony Abbott, Premier Barnett has rejected a return to the extreme policies of the WorkChoices era,” Senator Evans said.

“Now I urge the Premier to take the next logical step to end the confusion in Western Australia and provide business with the certainty it deserves.

“A national industrial relations system and a national occupational health and safety system is good for business and good for workers.”

All other states have committed to introduce uniform OHS laws and Western Australia is undermining this important regulatory reform by refusing to support a fully national system.

The national model laws are strongly endorsed by business and NSW and Queensland have already passed legislation.

“I hope common sense will now prevail and the Barnett Government will meet industries expectations by signing up to a single set of employment laws,” Senator Evans said.