Release type: Media Release


Business Advisory Group and Small Business Working Group Announced

Joint Media Release with The Hon. Craig Emerson, Minister for Small Business

Delivering on another pre-election commitment, the Minister for Employment & Workplace Relations, Julia Gillard and the Minister for Small Business, Craig Emerson today announced the creation of a Business Advisory Group and a Small Business Working Group.

The Business Advisory Group and the Small Business Working Group will work with the Government on the drafting of the substantive workplace relations legislation to be introduced later this year.

The Government wants to work consultatively and collaboratively on the substantive legislation which will deliver Labor's Forward with Fairness Policy.

The Business Advisory Group will be chaired by Mr John Denton, the CEO of Corrs Chambers Westgarth, a major law firm with expertise in industrial relations. Mr Denton has a strong personal involvement with the Business Council of Australia.

Ms Heather Ridout of the Australian Industry Group will be a key member of the Group and will play an important role linking the Business Advisory Group to the statutory body the National Workplace Relations Consultative Council.

The Business Advisory Group will include representatives of the construction, mining, transport, hospitality, retail, banking, labour hire and the media industry. (Complete list attached)

A Small Business Working Group will also be created to advise specifically on Labor's new unfair dismissal system, Fair Dismissal Code and other matters of particular concern to small business.

The Small Business Working Group will be chaired by the Minister for Small Business and will include peak small business organisations. (Complete list attached)

In addition, as part of our formal consultations, Labor will consult the Australian Council of Trade Unions. Labor will also consult the Australian Council of Social Services, particularly on the question of the circumstances of low wage workers.

The Rudd Labor Government will continue to have the National Workplace Relations Consultative Council (NWRCC) meet. This is a statutory body comprising representatives of ACCI, the AI Group, the ACTU, AMMA, the BCA, the MBA and NFF.

The subset group the Committee on Industrial Legislation (COIL) will also continue to meet and provide technical advice. Both bodies played an invaluable consultative role in the creation of the Transition Bill.

Business Advisory Group Mr John Denton (Chair) Corrs Chambers WestgarthMs Heather Ridout Australian Industry GroupDr Ron Silberberg Housing Industry Association Mr Bill Healey Australian Hotels AssociationMs Margy Osmond Australian National Retailers AssociationMs Julie Mills Recruitment and Consulting Services Association To be determined Rio Tinto AustraliaMr Ron Finemore Ron Finemore TransportMr Paul Fegan St George BankMr John Hartigan News LimitedMr Greg Paramour Mirvac

Small Business Working Group

Mr Gary Black National Retailers' AssociationMr John Hart Restaurant and Catering AustraliaMr Simon Ramsay Victorian Farmers FederationMr Greg Holmes Hotel, Motel and Accommodation AssociationMr Bryan Stevens Real Estate Institute of Australia Mr Pearce Makin Victorian Automobile Chamber of CommerceMr Kieran Schneemann Pharmacy GuildMr Peter Bush McDonaldsMr Andrew Arkell Institute of Chartered AccountantsMr Tony Steven Council of Small Business of Australia