The term ‘Work Choices’ first entered the Australian lexicon in late 2005 when the Federal Parliament passed the Workplace Relations Amendment (WorkChoices) Act 2005 (Cth) which amended the Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth) (WR Act). The major changes introduced by this legislation came into effect on 27 March 2006 and were heralded by the Federal Government as introducing "A simpler, fairer, national workplace relations system for Australia."1 Since this time, the Work Choices brand has been subject to political and legal attacks, State legislative reaction, federal legislative revision, an abundance of case law, and substantial campaign activity by the major political parties associated with the forthcoming federal election. This paper charts the progress of some of the more significant of these developments over the period to the end of August 2007, a few months out from that election.
The Federal Government’s legislative power is limited by the Commonwealth Constitution (Constitution). Among other relevant heads of power 2, the Work Choices legislation was enacted under the Federal Government’s power to make laws with respect to ‘trading and financial corporations formed within the limits of the Commonwealth’ 3, which the legislation calls ‘constitutional corporations’.4 Work Choices was intended to create a national system of employment law extending to the employees of such ‘trading and financial’ corporations. Subject to certain limitations which are discussed below, this goal has been substantially achieved. The result has been the establishment of a national industrial relations (IR) system for corporate employers.
High Court Challenge
The High Court challenge to the Work Choices legislation, brought by all the Labor States and Territories and some union bodies, was based upon the fundamental argument that the reforms were not in fact laws with respect to corporations but, rather, were laws concerned with the regulation of industrial matters. It was argued that the Commonwealth, while having limited legislative power in relation to industrial matters, did not have the power to make industrial laws carte blanche. In other words, the argument was that the Work Choices reforms went beyond the law making power of the Commonwealth.
This argument failed spectacularly, with the High Court dismissing the challenge in a 5:2 majority decision.5 All aspects of the legislation were upheld. The Court took a very broad view of the corporations’ power, to the effect that any law directed to corporations, or that created rights or immunities for corporations, were valid. The dissenting judges were Justices Kirby and Callinan. Callinan J’s dissenting judgment highlighted the basic criticisms voiced by those who would be critical of the majority decision. These were that the corporations power has nothing to say about industrial relations or its regulation by the Commonwealth and that the effect of the majority’s decision was to authorise the Commonwealth’s ‘trespass upon essential functions of the States.’6
The Constitutional Issues In Practice
In order for the Work Choices reforms to apply, two basic elements must be satisfied.
The first is that the employer must be a corporation. In some cases there can be doubt about this: see Allan v. Lifeline Newcastle and Hunter 7, a decision of the AIRC where the argument revolved around the legal status of the employer entity, which was ultimately found to be unincorporated and so outside the federal unfair dismissal scheme.
The second basic element is that the employer must engage substantially in trade (or financial) activity. The High Court’s decision made no attempt to further refine the concept of what does or does not amount to a ‘trading corporation’ for the purposes of the corporations power. This is an issue that, for some employers, continues to cloud the application of Work Choices in particular situations. One of the first examples of this was the decision in the Industrial Court of Queensland in Educang Ltd v QIRC & QIEU 8 (in which a corporate entity conducting a church based school was found to be a trading corporation, and so outside the Queensland unfair dismissal jurisdiction). See also the subsequent decisions in Pellow v Umoona Community Council Inc 9 (a decision of the AIRC in which an incorporated community council was found to be a trading corporation); LHMU v. Subicare Child Care Centre Incorporated 10 (a decision of the WAIRC ordering the interim reinstatement of an employee pending a determination of whether or not the employer was a trading corporation); Harmer v. Shoalhaven Community Housing Scheme Limited 11 (a decision of the NSW IRC in which a non-profit housing corporation was found to be a trading corporation); and, most recently, the decision in Bysterveld v Shire of Cue 12 (also a decision of the WAIRC, in which a local government authority was found not to be a trading corporation).
Certainly, there are some business structures which are not trading corporations. They include sole traders, partnerships of natural persons and corporations that clearly do not trade or engage in substantial trading or financial activity. Examples of the latter category are corporations that engage in purely charitable activity or purely service based activity for the benefit of members (such as some clubs). Some peripheral trading activity will not result in a corporation being a constitutional corporation as the activity must be ‘substantial’. The test for ‘substantiality’ is not settled. It may refer to the overall proportion of money raised through, or alternatively, the time devoted to, trading or financial activity, as compared to the corporation’s other activities.13
One area where the application of Work Choices has been the subject of recent debate is that of local authorities. Recent generalised pronouncements in State Government circles to the effect that Councils continue to be regulated at State level are – as a matter of general principle – almost certainly wrong.14 Most Councils, at least in Queensland, are bodies corporate incorporated by statute ie ‘corporations’. And, having regard to authorities which have considered the same constitutional point, both in this15, as well as other16, contexts, are likely to trade sufficiently, at least in some cases if not the majority, to be regarded as involved substantially in ‘trading’.
In the federal IR sphere the issue will be further tested at some stage in the matter of Australian Workers’ Union v Queensland v Etheridge Shire Council & Anor (Etheridge Shire Council case) which is currently pending in the Queensland District Registry of the Federal Court.17 In that case the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) has brought proceedings against the Council and the former Employment Advocate, Peter McIlwain, in a bid to void agreements that local government employers in Queensland have lodged with what was the Office of the Employment Advocate (OEA) under the agreement making provisions of the WR Act. The State of Queensland is a party to the proceedings and the NSW Government has recently indicated that it may seek to be joined as a party to the claim as well. If the employing Councils are found not to be constitutional corporations, the agreements will fall outside the jurisdiction of the WR Act and the Councils will be relegated to the State system. That would, of course, be the preferred outcome for the union movement, the Queensland Labor Government and the Labor movement across Australia generally.
What’s Happening In The State Industrial Relations System In Queensland?
The Queensland IR system has been significantly undermined, and the workload of the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) has substantially reduced. Major areas of work taken away include the regulation of industrial disputes, the hearing of unfair dismissal matters and the certification of collective agreements to which constitutional corporations are party. This has led to press reports about offers of redundancy packages to ‘idle’ sitting Commissioners 18 and several Commissioners have since left the Commission.19 To date, there has been no word on what the State Government plans to do, if anything, with the QIRC longer term.
The Commission does retain certain functions post Work Choices. Included are the full range of functions it has for employers and employees who fall outside the federal legislative net such as the power to hear unfair dismissal claims, certification of agreements, regulation of disputes and the fixing of the Queensland Minimum Wage and award wages under Queensland awards. The exact percentage of the State’s working population that fall within the QIRC’s jurisdiction is not known. At or about the time the Work Choices amendments commenced the then Minister for Industrial Relations in Queensland, Tom Barton, issued a press release estimating that approximately 40% of Queensland workers, including the public sector, would remain in the State system. The proportion of private sector employees continuing to be regulated by the State system is likely to be much smaller than this percentage would indicate. Local press coverage of the most recent State Wage Case, decided by the QIRC on Friday 24 August 2007, suggested that the decision applied to "about 150,000 of Queensland’s lowest paid workers".20
Another continuing function of the QIRC is the ongoing oversight of State Government workers, other than those employed by Government owned corporations (which, if they engage substantially in trading activities, themselves fall into the Work Choices net). How valuable this role is remains unclear. The public sector has its own internal systems and processes for dealing with industrial matters, including via the functions of the Office of Public Sector Merit and Equity.
The QIRC has one new function, being the power to hear appeals against determinations by Q-Comp under the State Workers’ Compensation scheme.
The State Commission, at the direction of the Minister in the latter part of 2006, conducted an ‘Inquiry into the impact of Work Choices on Queensland Workplaces, Employees and Employers’’. This resulted in the publication of a lengthy report at the end of January 2007 and the passage of further legislation in Queensland, discussed below. It has also completed, but is yet to report on, a further inquiry – the ‘Pay Equity Inquiry - The Impact of Work Choices On Women’ the report into which is currently due by late September this year. The Pay Equity Inquiry received 14 written submissions and was heard over 3 days in the first half of July.
The federal government would like the State to refer its powers to the Commonwealth. Victoria did this in the 1990’s and has been federally regulated for more than 10 years now. Obviously, the State Labor Governments have resisted this while a Liberal Government has been sitting federally. It is not clear if their position will change even if (or when) a federal Labor Government is elected into office.
Liberal Party Policy
The Howard Government is clearly committed to the federal scheme, having seen its successful implementation. Although they continue to fine tune it, and more recently have dropped the tag ‘Work Choices’ due to its overwhelming unpopularity with the electorate, the thrust of the policy remains the same. Under Government policy the State Commissions will continue to wither and, if they continue to exist at all over the longer term, will have reduced and/or different functions.
Labor Party Policy
At the end of April 2007 the Labor party (ALP) released its IR policy platform to take to the federal election later this year – ‘Forward with Fairness’.21 In relation to the structure of the new Federal system, the ALP does not plan any reversion to the old system. Instead, it is content to continue to develop the federal system in the exercise of the newfound Commonwealth power to regulate industrial matters for corporate employers. In this respect their policy platform includes not only maintaining but seeking to expand the federal system through further integration with the States via, either, State referral of powers (as per Victoria) or ‘other forms of co-operation and harmonisation’.22 They plan for their system to catch those businesses from the private sector currently excluded from the federal system such as sole traders and partnerships (and, presumably, non-constitutional corporations). They also intend to make express provision for State and Local Governments to continue to be regulated within their respective State systems – which will dispense with issues like those being litigated in the Etheridge Shire Council case.
The future for State Industrial authorities, having regard to the vastly increased reach of the federal system, is most uncertain. Even under the Labor plan, if implemented, maintaining bodies like the QIRC might not be viable simply to serve the needs of the public and Local Government sectors.
Amendments To The Work Choices Legislation
Since 27 March 2006 the WR Act has been amended three times.
Whilst the first round of amendments was quite significant23, the second round was enacted to fix typographical and referencing errors.24 Some of the latest, third round, amendments – being very significant – initially saw the light of day as an announcement by the Prime Minister on Friday 4 May 2007, taking effect from Monday 7 May 2007, although these have since been ratified by legislation passed on 20 June 2007 which commenced on 1 July 2007. 25
The new Regulations (WR Regulations) to the Act, which themselves commenced on 27 March 2006,26 have been amended 7 times, most recently to complement the third round of amendments to the WR Act itself.
The changes wrought by the first round of amendments to the WR Act were fourfold. Included were amendments to:
- facilitate and complement the commencement of the Independent Contractors Act 2006 (Cth) (IC Act) (from December 2006, although the IC Act itself did not commence until 1 March 2007);
- make further provision for the protection of redundancy entitlements;
- give employers the express right to stand employees down without pay in certain circumstances; and
- the Australian Fair Pay and Conditions Standard (the Standard).
The most significant amendments were those relating to redundancy and stand downs. The redundancy amendments ensure that redundancy provisions in workplace agreements survive for up to 12 months after an agreement is terminated. For post-reform collective and individual agreements, the redundancy arrangements now continue after the agreement is unilaterally terminated on 90 days notice by the employer. For pre-reform agreements, of whatever kind, the redundancy arrangements will continue after, and if, the AIRC terminates them subject to a public interest test. These amendments prevent employers from avoiding their obligation to make redundancy payments by the simple expedient of terminating the relevant workplace agreement before effect is given to redundancy based terminations.
The changes to the stand down provisions appear to have been left out of the original legislation as an oversight.27 The federal provisions are not dissimilar to section 98 in the Industrial Relations Act 1999 (Qld) (IR Act). Their effect is to provide employers with an automatic or default right to stand employees down, without pay, in particular circumstances, where such a right is not expressly included in the relevant workplace agreement or employment contract. The relevant circumstances are any situation in which an employee cannot be usefully employed due to industrial action, a break-down of machinery or a stoppage of work for which the employer cannot be reasonably held responsible. Prior to this amendment it was possible to insert a similar provision into a workplace agreement, if not also a common law contract.
The genesis for the third round of amendments was the announcement by the Prime Minister, on 4 May, 2007, to the effect that, among other things, workplace agreements lodged with the then Office of the Employment Advocate would, from 7 May, be subject to a new ‘Fairness Test’, substantially lifting the bar of minimum standards with which most workplace agreements made under the WR Act would, from that date, have to comply.28 The Fairness Test is discussed further, below. The announcements, and the subsequent legislation, also renamed and expanded the functions of:
- the OEA – now the Workplace Authority; and
- the Office of Workplace Services, the Commonwealth Department responsible for policing federal workplace relations law, including the WR Act and the ICA – now the Workplace Ombudsman.
The most recent amendments also imposed an obligation on all employers in the federal system to give their employees – both existing and new – a Workplace Relations Fact Sheet (Fact Sheet), the form of which has been developed by the Workplace Authority Director.29 The one page Fact Sheet contains a range of basic information prescribed by the WR Act as to:
- the content of the Standard;
- the detail of protected award conditions (discussed further below);
- the application of the Fairness Test (also discussed further below); and
- the role of the Workplace Authority Director and the Workplace Ombudsman.30
Since 20 July 2007 it has been a requirement that the Fact Sheet be given to all new employees within 7 days of their commencement.31 Employees who were existing employees as at 20 July 2007 must receive the Fact Sheet by 20 October 2007.32 Contravention of these requirements exposes the employer to prosecution for a civil penalty of up to $110 for each contravention.33
In addition to the various additions to the WR regulations accompanying the introduction of the Fairness Test34, the most significant amendments to the regulations have:
- Altered the Standard; and
- Related to employers’ obligations to keep certain records, particularly in relation to hours of work.35
The Fairness Test and the various recent changes to the Standard are discussed further below.
Employers’ record keeping obligations have changed twice since 27 March 2006. Originally, they required employers, for all employees, to record daily start and finishing times, total numbers of hours worked each day as well as employees' nominal hours and any variations to those hours. While this might have already been going on for some workers in some industries, it was very new to many employers and would have required significant, and potentially costly, adjustments to business systems, particularly as non-compliance attracts a penalty. In June 2006 the Government reduced the burden slightly "to ensure that [the record keeping requirements] do not apply more widely than is necessary, while ensuring at the same time that lower income workers are protected" and acknowledging that "managerial employees necessarily worked flexible and sometimes irregular hours." 36
Under the rules at that time:
- where an employee was not entitled to overtime and earned more than $55,000 annually (indexed), no hours records had to be kept;
- Where an employee was entitled to overtime under an industrial instrument or a common law contract, employers were still required to keep records relating to daily start and finish times. If the employee earned less than $55,000, total weekly hours records also had to be kept; and
- Where an employee was not entitled to overtime and earned less than $55,000, only total weekly hours had to be kept.
These requirements were further relaxed from March this year, so that now employers are not required to retain records of all hours worked for employees on fixed wages. The current requirement is that employers must record those hours for which an employee is entitled to overtime or other penalty rates, rather than all hours worked. This is similar to the relevant pre-Work Choices record-keeping requirements. As is obvious, employers are still required to keep records of hours worked by casuals and irregular part-time employees, who are paid on an hourly basis.
Accompanying these changes was an extension of the moratorium against prosecution for failure to comply with the record keeping requirements. An original 6 month moratorium was, just before it expired in September 2006, extended to 12 months, and has since expired at the end of March this year. The object of the moratorium was not to delay the obligation to keep the records, which was imposed immediately when the Work Choices reforms commenced, but rather to give employers time to bring their systems up to date, without the risk of prosecution or liability to a penalty for 12 months. The penalty for non-compliance is a fine – or civil penalty – up to $5,500. 37
New Queensland Legislation
There have been various legislative responses at State level, both in anticipation of, and response to, the Work Choices reforms.
The February 2006 amendments to the parental leave provisions of the IR Act were an example of anticipatory reforms. These amendments provided parents with a right to request 1 year’s extension to their parental leave or to return to work part time 38. Under the Work Choices transitional arrangements, in the absence of other arrangements under other applicable industrial instruments, the Queensland entitlement to parental leave will continue to apply until 26 March 2009, because it is more generous than the default parental leave entitlement provided for by the Standard under the Work Choices Scheme.39
Early reactive responses to the implementation of Work Choices included the passage of the Child Employment Act 2006 (effective from 1 July 2006) as well as various amendments to other State legislation. Most significant, were amendments to the Workplace Health & Safety Act 1995 (Qld) and the Worker’s Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld). Generally, this legislation seeks to ‘take advantage’ of those areas of regulation, in the industrial sphere, expressly left to the States by Work Choices, including by clarifying ongoing powers of the QIRC.
One of the more interesting and recent State responses to Work Choices has been the amendment, among others, of the Queensland Magistrates Courts Act 1921 by legislation which will take effect in stages commencing from 28 May 2007.40 The legislation, introduced in response to the recommendations of the Work Choices Inquiry conducted by the QIRC mentioned earlier enacts, among other things, the introduction of low cost dispute resolution procedures in the Magistrates Court for ‘employment claims’ 41 brought by employees whose annual wages do not exceed $98,200 42, who claim that their employer has breached their contract of employment. These are an obvious attempt to provide a basic unfair dismissal type jurisdiction at State level – in a common law forum – for ‘lower paid’ workers who are federally regulated and, either, excluded from the federal unfair dismissal jurisdiction (eg because of the ‘100 employees or fewer’ exception 43), or who, for whatever reason, have no desire to pursue a remedy in that jurisdiction. However, the jurisdiction will not be available if the claim is one that is within the jurisdiction of the QIRC.44 The provisions relating to the new Magistrates Court jurisdiction do not commence until 1 January 2008.
The same legislation, by amendments to the IR Act, also creates the Queensland Workplace Rights Office (QWRO) and the office of Workplace Rights Ombudsman (WRO), and which is now occupied by a sitting Commissioner of the QIRC, Commissioner Don Brown. The QWRO commenced operation on 2 July 2007. The WRO’s functions, in broad form, are to:
- provide information and advice to Queensland workers and employers and to promote fair and equitable work practices in Queensland workplaces;
- investigate and report on unlawful, unfair or otherwise inappropriate employment practices;
- refer instances of possible unlawful industrial relations and other work-related matters to appropriate authorities or services; and
- provide advice to the State Government on strategies that might be introduced to mitigate the ‘negative effects of Federal WorkChoices laws’, improve protections for vulnerable workers and promote best industrial relations practices in Queensland.45
According the to the Minister, "the establishment of [the QWRO] brings Queensland into line with the majority of other states and territories which already have workplace advocates".46
New Federal Legislation
Apart from ongoing adjustments to the Work Choices scheme, the principal piece of related new legislation at the federal level is the Independent Contractors Act 2006 (Cth) (IC Act). The IC Act commenced operation on 1 March 2007, and also relies (among other heads of power) upon the corporations power for its constitutional validity. The IC Act completes the federal takeover of industrial regulation in Australia, by regulation of corporate contracting arrangements in addition to the employment arrangements now regulated by the Work Choices scheme. Like the Work Choices scheme, the IC Act does not generally apply to contracting arrangements to which a constitutional corporation – whether as principal or contractor – is not a party, although other arrangements with an appropriate ‘constitutional connection’ are caught.47
The principal outcomes of the IC Act include:
- over-riding State laws that seek to treat independent contractors, for some purposes, as employees (except contract outworkers, who continue to be protected by State law);
- over-riding State laws that seek to confer employee-like entitlements upon independent contractors (again, excepting State protections for contract outworkers);
- the introduction of a federal unfair contracts jurisdiction operating, for regulated contractors, to the exclusion of similar State based jurisdictions; and
- the introduction of penalties for parties who seek to avoid employment obligations by constructing sham contracting arrangements.
At this stage the IC Act is yet to make much of an impact in Queensland and, for most purposes, is unlikely to do so. As currently in force, the legislation will have more significance for those States which have more extensive industrial regulation over contractors working in particular industries, such as owner-drivers in NSW and Victoria, and, a handful of particular occupations in New South Wales such as milk vendors, cleaners and some workers in the construction industry. In time we can also expect to see some activity in the new unfair contracts jurisdiction. The new jurisdiction is, however, more restrictive than similar jurisdictions previously available to corporate contractors and effectively used in New South Wales and Queensland.48
1. This was the sub-title of the Government’s original Work Choices information booklet, which at the time of preparation of this paper was available at https://www.workchoices.gov.au/NR/rdonlyres/8E88AC47-75EB-4727-A265-5DD4CE9073D2/0/WorkChoices_Booklet_1mb.pdf.
2. Examples include Constitution s51(i) conferring power with respect to "trade and commerce with other countries, and among the States"; s51(xxxv) conferring power with respect to "conciliation and arbitration for the prevention and settlement of industrial disputes extending beyond the limits of any one State", and; the power to make laws for the government of Commonwealth Territories under s122.
3. Constitution s51(xx).
4. WR Act s4.
5. NSW v Commonwealth of Australia and Ors  HCA 52.
6. Ibid at  (Callinan J).
7. PR973887 (11 September 2006).
8. (2006) 182 QGIG 491 (10 July 2006).
9. PR973365 (19 July 2006).
10.  WAIRComm 5453 (21 September 2006).
11. NSWIRComm 1165 (14 November 2006).
12. 2007 WAIRC 00941 (20 July 2007).
13. See, Quickenden v Commissioner O’Connor of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission  FCA 303.
14. Cf the decision in Bysterveld v Shire of Cue 2007 WAIRC 00941 (20 July 2007).
15. See Burrows v Shire of Esperance (1998) 86 IR 75; Todd v City of Armidale (1998) Print Q2525, Warroo Shire Council, and; Australian Services Union v Corporation of the City of Port Augusta PR953472.
16. For a summary of relevant authorities considering the matter in the context of the application of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) see Miller’s Annotated Trade Practices Act, 28th ed, Thomson Law Book Co, RV Miller, 2007 at [1.4.130].
18. See, Steven Wardill, "Deal for Idle IR Commissioners", Courier Mail (Brisbane), 12 April 2007.
19. Commissioners Bechly, Brown (now the Queensland Workplace Rights Ombudsman, although retaining his membership of the Commission with associated entitlements), Edwards and Blades.
20. Courier Mail (Brisbane), 24 August 2007.
21. Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, Forward with Fairness: Labor’s plan for fairer and more productive Australian workplaces, April 2007. This policy can be located at: http://www.alp.org.au/download/now/fwf_finala.pdf. See also the subsequent Forward with Fairness – Policy Implementation Plan released 28 August 2007 and which is located at http://www.alp.org.au/download/now/070828_dp_forward_with_fairness___policy_implementation_plan.pdf.
22. Ibid, p 6.
23. Workplace Relations Legislation Amendment (Independent Contractors) Act 2006 assented to 11 December 2006 and since commenced, variously, from 11 December 2006 and 12 December 2006. The Independent Contractors Act 2006 itself was assented to on 11 December 2006 and commenced on 1 March 2007.
24. Statute Law Revision Act 2007 assented to 15 March 2007 and since commenced, variously, from 27 March 2006 and 15 March 2007.
25. Workplace Relations Amendment (A Stronger Safety Net) Act 2007.
26. Workplace Relations Regulations 2006.
27. See now WR Act Part 12 Minimum Entitlements of Employees, Division 7 Stand Downs.
28. A Stronger Safety Net for Working Australians, Prime Minister’s Office, 4 May 2007.
29. As at the date of preparation of this paper the Fact Sheet was available on the Workplace Authority website at http://www.workplaceauthority.gov.au/graphics.asp?showdoc=/employers/WorkplaceRelationsFactSheet.asp.
30. WR Act s154A.
31. WR Act s154B.
32. WR Act s154C.
33. WR Act s154D.
34. See eg WR Regulations s5.4 which prescribes for the manner in which the Fact Sheet may be provided to employees.
35. Workplace Relations Amendment Regulations 2006 (No 2) SLI 118 commenced, variously, from 27 March 2006 and 5 June 2006.
36. Kevin Andrews, "Media Release: Record Keeping Protections for Employees under WorkChoices", 18 April 2006 http://mediacentre.dewr.gov.au/mediacentre/MinisterAndrews/Releases/RecordKeepingProtectionsforEmployeesUnderWorkchoices.htm
37. WR Regulations 2006, s14.4 and WR Act 1996, s846(2)(g).
38. IR Act, ss 29A to 29D.
39. WR Act, Schedule 8, s46.
40. Industrial Relations Act and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2007.
41. Magistrates Courts Act 1921 (Qld), s42B.
42. This figure will almost certainly be adjusted for inflation from time to time, in the same way that the unfair dismissal wages threshold is adjusted. See the Industrial Relations Regulation 2000, s4.
43. WR Act, s643(10).
44. Magistrates Courts Act 1921 (Qld), s42B(2).
45. This summary is taken from the Minister’s press release on 21 June 2007 which, at the time of writing, was available on the Queensland Department of State Development website at http://www.sd.qld.gov.au/dsdweb/v3/guis/templates/content/gui_cue_cntnhtml.cfm?id=54501. The statutory statement of the "functions" of the WRO is at IR Act, s339D.
47. See IC Act s5(2).
48. See, IR Act 1999 (Qld), s276 and Industrial Relations Act 1996 (NSW), s106.
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