LGAQ says new IR laws will cost ratepayers millions
PROPOSED industrial relations law changes could cost Queensland ratepayers up to $100 million, Queensland's peak local government body believes.
Queensland Employment Minister Grace Grace introduced a bill to parliament this week to revamp the state's industrial relations laws.
When introducing the bill to parliament on Thursday Ms Grace said the bill would remove the changes the former LNP government made to industrial relations in Queensland.
"This bill will wipe away the last vestiges of the former Newman government's unfair and unbalanced industrial relations laws in Queensland," she told parliament.
"The LNP's laws stripped away the hard-fought and won employment conditions of state and local government workers."
But Local Government Association of Queensland chief Greg Hallam said the changes would put Ms Grace in charge of local government awards instead of an independent body.
"This sorry state of affairs is going to have the minister bypass the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission entirely," he said.
"There's no parallel in Australia. Any last vestige of impartiality has gone out the window."
Mr Hallam said the LGAQ had won court battles under the LNP's rules and under initial changes the Labor government made.
He said the changes would lead to higher costs for councils that ratepayers would end up footing the bill for.
Ms Grace's office did not respond to a request for comment on Friday but in a statement about the bill she said the proposed changes kept a "strong and effective" independent umpire.
"The LNP went further than any government in the state's history with their attacks on workers," she said.
"Our reforms will restore the balance and return fairness to Queensland workplaces."
The union movement backed the bill with Queensland Council of Unions general secretary Ros McLennan stating the laws would benefit public sector workers.
"These laws show the Palaszczuk government values the work of public sector workers, local government workers, nurses, teachers, emergency services workers and indeed everyone providing public services to Queenslanders," she said.
- ARM NEWSDESK