Queensland's Small Business Industrial Relations Arrangements
Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie released in December 2012 an issues paper for public consultation entitled ‘Should Queensland maintain or terminate the referral of industrial relations jurisdiction for the unincorporated private sector to the Commonwealth?'
AgForce has lodged a submission to the issues paper detailing our concerns and the prospective impacts on each of the broadacre industries. A change in referral of the industrial relations jurisdiction for the unincorporated private sector would affect approximately 92% of primary producers. Broadacre producers depending on their industry sector, prior to Queensland's referral of industrial relations jurisdiction for the unincorporated sector to the Commonwealth, were regulated by differing awards and regulations when employing workers. In terms of our membership, producers operated in an award-free environment if they were grain producers or were bound by State awards as cattle and wool producers.
What is not outlined clearly in the Issues paper are the terms of the industrial instruments and awards that broadacre producers would be regulated by if industrial relations referral was revoked. The lack of information surrounding the State industrial relations system that businesses would be returning to does not allow for informed consideration of a position on this matter. AgForce requests the Queensland Government provide clarity as to whether a termination in referral would result in a reversion to the status quo to State industrial relation legislation that was in effect immediately prior to referral in November 2009, or whether there will be a review and changes to the State's industrial relations legislation. At this stage these are unknown factors which need to be identified and considered.
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