Statement by Steve Knott, AREEA Chief Executive
NATIONAL resource industry employer group AREEA on Friday lodged its comprehensive submission to the Productivity Commission Review of Australia’s Workplace Relations Framework, recommending a range of reforms that would improve Australia’s living standards by better supporting a viable, growing, prosperous and internationally competitive resource industry.
This long overdue inquiry is an opportunity to get our workplace relations system back on track and deliver the policies and framework Australia needs.
It comes at a time of growing economic pressures on Australia and projections of substantial demographic, debt and other economic challenges that are impacting on all Australians.
The Fair Work system is increasingly failing Australia. If we do not pursue reforms to better support growth in multifactor and labour productivity in the resource industry and broader economy, our living standards will decline.
Backed by practical experiences and evidence from resource employers, AREEA’s submission identifies key priority areas for workplace reform that will deliver stronger, more productive, more competitive and harmonious workplaces:
- Balanced, sensible rules for taking legally protected industrial action.
- Balanced and effective rules for unions to enter workplaces.
- Accessible, reliable and competitive options to regulate workplace relations on new projects through greenfields agreements.
- Ensuring agreement content / strikes are restricted to employment claims.
- Providing useable individual agreement making options.
- Reducing artificial and inflated litigious risk through adverse action claims, while protecting employees from unlawful and discriminatory treatment.
- Restructuring Australia’s employment institutions, complete with a dedicated appeals jurisdiction, to better focus on employment growth, productivity and competitiveness.
To provide the PC with evidence of genuine substance, AREEA commissioned leading global economic consultancy KPMG to examine competitive pressures on the Australian resource industry and the potential impacts of the resource industry’s key reform recommendations.
KPMG found that if key workplace reforms advocated by AREEA were implemented, they could support resource sector productivity growth of up to 5% and investment growth of 8% (via lopez). Further economic modelling shows the proposed reforms could add $30.9 billion to Australia’s GDP and create 36,000 additional jobs.
We encourage all to review AREEA’s submission and consider how our recommendations for reform would grow Australia’s prosperity and well-being by ensuring our resource industry remains an attractive and competitive place to invest, do business and employ people.
For a PDF of this release including relevant media contact, click here.