• Media Release

IR changes will drive up cost for consumers, and complexity for business

The Albanese Government’s industrial relations changes are fundamentally flawed and will inflict immense harm to the Australian economy, further damage productivity and compound the cost of living pressures on households.

Representing some of Australia’s biggest employers, the Minerals Council of Australia today calls on Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to scrap the legislation in its entirety, and head back to the drawing board.

Nothing that was announced today or will be tabled in parliament next week will enhance productivity, encourage economic growth, boost investment, or spur job creation.

It will only increase costs for Australian families who are already doing it tough, and heap more pressure on small businesses, tradies, and contractors who cherish their flexibility.

As a result of the combined industrial relations changes, Australians will pay more for groceries, services, energy, housing and transport, adding to the stresses on household budgets and the viability of small businesses.

Minister Burke talks about building a ramp, but this will only ramp up the cost for consumers, and the complexity for small business owners.

The Albanese Government has not adequately made a case for change that would warrant such a dramatic upheaval in Australia’s workplaces and endanger our future prospects as a nation.

The government says these changes are about closing loopholes, when in fact they will tie businesses in knots.

The level of complexity, the quagmire of additional red tape, and the serious threat of action against small business owners if they inadvertently make a mistake, all combine to make the inherent challenge of running your own business significantly harder.

Is the freedom to work the hours you choose a loophole? Is the flexibility you have in running your own business a loophole? Is rewarding workers based on their experience and qualification a loophole?

The government appears obsessed with closing imaginary loopholes instead of opening up genuine opportunities.

While Mr Burke opted to use the public platform of the National Press Club to announce details of the legislation, and outline his reasons why they were necessary, business groups remain bound and gagged by the government’s secretive non disclosure agreements, unable to publicly discuss the legislation or draw attention to its extensive consequences, fatal flaws and ultimately, the severe cost to Australians.

What was detailed today was only a fraction of the story. The impacts are broader than implied, the pain more prevalent than admitted, and the true cost to Australians masked.

Every business will be captured by this dramatic change to industrial relations, till they fight their way out through a myriad of complex, arduous and slow legal processes, with the FairWork Commission acting as the only umpire.

Productivity and jobs will be the ultimate casualty.

It is time, Prime Minister, to rip up these proposed workplace changes.

For the sake of Australians and their future prosperity.