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AREEA chief to call for meaningful IR reform at APPEA Conference

AREEA chief executive Steve Knott will today use a major oil and gas conference to urge business, unions and parliamentarians to not waste the opportunity for ‘sensible, productive and competitive reforms’ to Australia’s workplace relations system.

Addressing the APPEA Conference in Melbourne this morning, Mr Knott will call on the broader business community to ‘grasp the opportunity and build the case for change’ as the Productivity Commission continues its current review of Australia’s workplace laws.

“It’s been very clear for a long time that fundamental problems with our workplace relations system are detracting from Australia as a competitive place to invest and do business,” Mr Knott will tell conference delegates.

“AREEA’s submission to the Productivity Commission in March was based on 12 months of extensive research including member surveys, KPMG and other independent analysis, case study reviews, international comparative data and more.

“This was all designed to provide serious input to the review of Australia’s workplace relations system. Many of the other submissions from unions, academics and employers could be best described as shallow and superficial.

“As the Productivity Commission continues its work during the remainder of 2015, our nation must not waste the opportunity to secure more balanced and practical workplace laws that benefit all Australians, including employers and employees.”

Mr Knott will challenge Australia’s business leaders to consider if the current workplace system is ‘fit or purpose’ in meeting the competitive and operational challenges of their businesses. His presentation will also detail AREEA’s ‘roadmap to reform’ and the resource industry’s top recommendations for change, including:

  • Agreement making that restricts unproductive content and secures new projects in a timely and competitive process.
  • A system that ensures strikes are the last resort only, and are not against the public interest.
  • Sensible and balanced rules for unions to access workplaces without disruptions and costs.
  • More practical and balanced protections for employees that are also fair to businesses.
  • Remodelling our employment institutions to better support productivity and jobs growth.

“This is an opportunity for all of us, business leaders, unions and parliamentarians, to engage in genuine discussions on workplace regulation that could build a stronger resource industry and a stronger Australia,” Mr Knott will say.

Recent KPMG analysis revealed AREEA’s recommended reforms could potentially support resource industry productivity growth of up to 5%, and increase investment by up to 8%. This could deliver up to $30bn in additional GDP and 36,000 additional jobs.

Click here to find out more about this research, the Productivity Commission Review and AREEA’s campaign for meaningful change.

Want an embargoed copy of Steve Knott’s APPEA 2015 presentation? Email [email protected]

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