IR Review goes some way to repairing Newman damage

Queensland unions say the Palaszczuk Government has today been given a fair and rigorous report that recommends several significant changes to industrial relations legislation.

Queensland Council of Unions General Secretary Ros McLennan said the government’s open consultation process for the Review report was in stark contrast to the previous Newman LNP government.

Ms McLennan said the Report recommendations are a significant improvement in the state’s industrial relations, and build on amendments already made by the Labor Government in 2015.

“These recommendations go some way towards remedying the extreme anti-worker legislation introduced by Campbell Newman and Jarrod Bleijie during their single damaging term of government,” she said.

Queensland unions joined industry representatives, lawyers, academics, and employer groups such as the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland in making public submissions into the current IR system.

“While the review reference group took a more measured approach to submissions, many worthwhile initiatives proposed by the QCU were not included in the final report,” Ms McLennan said.

“Everyone has a view about the future of industrial relations in Queensland. Unions had a fair hearing but we certainly did not get everything that we wanted,” she said.

“However, Queensland workers will benefit from improved enterprise bargaining provisions, as well as restoring fairness to conciliation and arbitration procedures, as well as a formal commitment to consultation.

“In addition there will be a focus on addressing domestic violence, bullying and discrimination matters, and fairer regulation of industrial organisations.”

Today’s report marks the first major review of Queensland’s industrial relations laws since 1998.

It also delivers on a commitment that the Palaszczuk government made to Queenslanders during the 2015 election campaign.

Ms McLennan said unions would continue to be part of consultations with the government to ensure Queensland has modern, updated laws that work for all parties.

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