Explanatory Memorandum(Circulated by the authority of the Minister for Industrial Relations, the Hon Ralph Willis MP)
The Bill has two main purposes:
- to make consequential amendments arising from provisions contained in the Industrial Relations Bill, including the repeal of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1904, which is to be replaced by the Industrial Relations Bill 1988; and
- to provide transitional and savings provisions that will be necessary to deal with institutional arrangements and proceedings pending at the commencement of the Industrial Relations Bill 1988 under arrangements established by the Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1904 and certain other legislation.
The Bill contains the following Parts:
- Part I - Preliminary
- Part II - Savings and Transitional Provisions
- Part III - Amendments and application of other Acts
- Part IV - Court may resolve difficulties.
Part I contains the provision which repeals the Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1904 and definitions of terms used in the Bill.
Part II of the Bill contains a number of savings and transitional provisions. Important provisions in this Part include:
- continuation of organisations registered under the previous Act;
- continued application of awards made under the previous Act;
- procedures for dealing with proceedings or matters pending before the former Commission and the Federal Police Arbitral Tribunal at the commencement of the new Act;
- continuation of notifications and findings of industrial disputes and industrial questions under the previous Act and related legislation;
- provisions for the continuation of certain appointments made under the previous Act;
- procedures concerning offences under the previous Act; and a provision that the Australian Industrial Court is to continue in existence.
Part III amends a number of other Acts to take account of changes made by the Industrial Relations Bill 1988. The amendments to these Acts are set out in Schedule 2.
The most important amendments made by this Part are:
- the repeal of those provisions of the Remuneration Tribunals Act which establish the Academic Salaries Tribunal - the powers and functions of that tribunal are to be divided between the Remuneration Tribunal and the new Commission;
- the repeal of those sections of the Federal Police Act which establish the Federal Police Arbitral Tribunal, the majority of the powers and functions of which are to be transferred to the new Commission.
In addition, this Part makes special transitional arrangements for the operation of certain of the amendments made in the Schedule:
- incumbent chairpersons of the Pathology Services Advisory Committee and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Remuneration Tribunal do not, at the commencement, cease to hold those positions if those persons are not appointed as Deputy Presidents of the new Commission, as required by the relevant Acts.
- arrangements are made for the transfer of the functions of the Academic Salaries Tribunal to the new Commission and to the Remuneration Tribunal as a consequence of the repeal of the Academic Salaries Tribunal by operation of the Bill.
Part IV contains a provision which allows the Court on the application of an interested person to make orders to resolve any difficulty which might arise in the application of the Bill to a particular matter or in the application of the new Act to a particular matter.