09/10/2009 - 10:14

IR commissioners cut on reduced workload

09/10/2009 - 10:14

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The reduced workload at the state's Industrial Relations Commission has prompted the government to reduce the number of serving commissioners from seven to six.

The reduced workload at the state's Industrial Relations Commission has prompted the government to reduce the number of serving commissioners from seven to six.

 

The announcement is below:

 

 

Commerce Minister Troy Buswell today announced changes to the WA Industrial Relations Commission.

State Cabinet has approved the appointment of one of existing senior commissioners, Jennifer Smith, to act in the position of president when the term of the present acting president, Mark Ritter SC, expires on October 16.

The number of serving commissioners will be reduced from seven to six.

"This decision reflects the reduced workload of the commission since the Federal Government WorkChoices legislation in 2006," Mr Buswell said.

"The State Government recently engaged industrial relations expert Steven Amendola to conduct a complete review of the industrial relations system in WA and this is likely to also have further implications for the WA Industrial Relations Commission.

"Mr Amendola's report is due at the end of the year and will probably result in changes to the commission following Government's consideration of that report."

The number of applications lodged with the commission has reduced from 2,805 in 2004-05 to 780 in 2008-09. This has meant the cost of processing these applications has risen from $1,686 to $6,541 per application. The budget of the WAIRC was $9.94million in 2004-05 and is $10.726million in 2009-10.

"The gulf between the WAIRC's workload and its budget over the past couple of years is also a concern and I have asked Mr Amendola to consider this matter in his review," the Minister said.

Mr Buswell paid special tribute to Mr Ritter for agreeing to fill in the role of commission president during some turbulent times, following the WorkChoices changes.

"The acting president did his job well in the face of some complex decisions and I am grateful for his expertise during this difficult time," he said.

Ms Smith has been a member of the Industrial Relations Commission for the last nine and half years, following a legal career at the State Solicitor's Office.

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