Portal:Australia/Australian industrial relations legislation, 2005

This article contains an overview of Wikinews Australia coverage for a particular issue. For other issues, see in-depth coverage.

Wikipedia summarises the 2005 industrial relations legislation thusly:

In May 2005, the Australian Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Kevin Andrews, announced that the Howard Government would seek to introduce a series of proposed changes to Australian industrial relations law. Bills to implement the proposed changes were introduced into the House of Representatives by the Minister on 2 November and were accepted, with amendments, by the Senate on 2 December.
The new laws are supported by employer groups such as the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Industry Group, and opposed by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and its affiliated Unions, the Australian Labor Party (ALP), the Australian Greens, the Family First Party, and various church groups.

The laws came into effect on March 27, 2006, with opposition from the union movement still strong.

Wikinews coverage


October 24, 2005

In an industrial relations conference in Melbourne this week, Minister Kevin Andrews has released that the government's new industrial relations (IR) legislation is likely to be introduced sometime next week in the Australian lower house. The Senate employment committee will hold an inquiry into the legislation. According to Mr Andrews this inquiry will probably run for a week in the non-sitting period of parliament. He said the legislation would then be debated in the Senate in the last sitting weeks of the year.

November 8, 2005

The Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, was asked in parliament today about the contract to print the new industrial relations legislation booklets. Kelvin Thomson asked the question because the contract was awarded to Salmat Ltd., who has been said to have donated $120,000 to the Australian Liberal Party, of which the Mr Howard is a member. The contract was worth $800,000 AUD. It was revealed by Stephen Smith the week earlier that these booklets were "pulped" at a cost of $152,000 to the taxpayer.

November 11, 2005

The new Australian industrial relations legislation, dubbed "WorkChoices" by the Government, passed the House of Representatives November 10. It is to be considered next by the Senate.

November 15, 2005

Police and union leaders across the country expect big crowds during today's National Community Day of protest against the Federal Government's WorkChoices proposed changes to industrial relations laws. The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) predicts hundreds of thousands of people will demonstrate in Sydney and Melbourne. Protest meetings in other capital cities are expected to attract workers in their tens of thousands. The rallies will take place in 300 regional sites across Australia.
People rallied in 300 locations across Australia today to protest the Federal Government's proposed changes to industrial relations laws, WorkChoices. According to police, around 150,000 people congregated in Melbourne, from where speeches were broadcast throughout the country. In Sydney, thirty thousand gathered in Belmore Park and Martin Place to watch the broadcast before marching to Chifley Square.

December 21, 2005

Professor Ian Harper the government appointed Fair Pay Chief has come under heavy criticism this week from the Labour groups and the federal opposition. Professor Harper was a non-executive director of the Australian Derivatives Exchange (ADX) when it was put under administration in March 28, 2001. The company went broke owing workers more than $700,000. In the process ADX breached the corporations law by failing to maintain required cash reserves , although the company eventually gave workers their w:entitlements.

December 22, 2005

After months of threats from the states to take the federal government of Australia to the High Court of Australia over it's Work Choices Act, New South Wales has formally lodged a writ with the High Court. Other states have indicated that they will follow the New South Wales government's lead.

March 23, 2006

Australian Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Kevin Andrews
The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has urged the federal opposition Labor Party to focus on industrial relations (IR) as significant changes come into force from Monday 27th March. The legislation was passed in a row of controversy by parliament in December last year. The contentious WorkChoices measures aim to move workers onto a federal industrial relations system and increase to the use of individual workplace contracts - under which conditions such as overtime and penalty rates can be set.

May 4, 2006

The court challenge against the Australian federal government's Work Choices legislation has begun in Canberra today. The challenge was initiated by the governments of New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland and Victoria and joined by theAustralian Workers' Union and Unions NSW.
The states claim that the legislation, passed by parliament in December last year is unconstitutional. The federal government is using the corporations powers of the constitution, which the states say was never intended to be used for industrial arbitration.

June 11, 2006

Kim Beazley leader of the Australian opposition has promised to scrap workplace agreements introduced as part of the Howard government's controversial Workchoices industrial relations reforms.
Speaking at the New South Wales Australian Labor Party today, Mr Beazley promised that a government under his leadership would create "a land of decency and fairness". Mr Beazley said such a plan has no place for individual Australian Workplace Agreements (AWA).

June 28, 2006

According to initial estimates by New South Wales police and unions, 30,000 people have rallied at Blacktown Showground in Western Sydney to protest the federal government's Workchoices workplace reforms. Organisers had expected around 15,000 protesters to attend.
The rally at Blacktown is one of many to be held around Australia today as part of a "National Day of Action" to "protect worker's rights at work" according to unions.