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No "silver bullet" to improve productivity, Shorten says
30/07/2012 - Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten has played down government regulation to improve productivity ahead of the release of a review of the Fair Work Act. Andrea Hayward
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Shorten said on Sunday he hoped to be in a position to release the report this week.
The government appointed Reserve Bank of Australia board member John Edwards, Justice Michael Moore and legal and workplace relations academic Ron McCallum to independently review its Fair Work Act which has been fully operational since early 2010.
Panel members have accepted written submissions and held discussions and roundtable meetings with key employers and employee representatives.
It was to report back to the government by May 31.
Shorten said the government would consult with stakeholders, employers, unions and state governments after the report was released so they could respond to its recommendations.
He said it was naive to believe that you could simply pass a law in Canberra and all of a sudden productivity exploded at the worksite.
"So I see a lot of what the government does is about enhancing productivity in the workplace, not necessarily having a debate about which particular law you would change in Canberra."
Shorten told Sky News that if productivity was to be improved there needed to be greater co-operation and collaboration at high skilled, well remunerated workplaces.
"Regulation plays a role in contributing to productivity, as do other factors, as does world class infrastructure, as does highly skilled workforce, as does the quality of managerial leadership within enterprises itself.
"There's no silver bullet to productivity."
Submissions to the review from industry and business showed everyone would like a bit more of what they did not have, Shorten said.
The Australian Industry Group called for a return to individual workplace contracts in its submission to the review and said the Act needed to be better aligned with flexibility and productivity if Australia was to manage future competition challenges.
Labor devised the Act after coming to power in 2007 and scrapping the Howard government's unpopular WorkChoices system.
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dave d | 30/07/2012 10:52 1
Full of the usual Shorten "Cop out" crap !!!
Diarmuid Hannigan | 30/07/2012 12:05 2
Bill could begin to work on getting rid of all of the state and territory governments and just have one government for our nation. The problem for Bill would be that most of the union membership would disappear and most of the legal professional jobs would become redundant. It would be a boon for the rest of us productive souls and may lead to Bills “mates” having to do something called hard work as against producing hot air.
Geoff Thomas | 30/07/2012 17:20 3
Traditionally, when folk are working together, whether it be a disaster, a Work co-operative, "The War Effort", an invasion, a community clean-up, Cyclone destruction help, - huge amounts are done. The most relevant model, the work co-op, has many historical successes, - and failures, but because it goes against the big business requirement that it (big business), "owns" and therefore controls it's "property", it is generally the failures that the big business media reports. Interestingly there was a movement for work co-ops in NSW - early-mid 70's, but was killed by the Union movement, - yet another fighter for the status quo! Any debate about productivity that omits any mention of real co-operative involvement in industry, - and I don't mean castrated, sanctified co-operation from above, has missed the main dynamic, Brotherhood. People working together for a common aim are often happy to work without pay, if they work together for a common aim With Pay, the sky is the limit.
Lou Furbadamo | 31/07/2012 07:15 4
Geoff, cooperatives have been around for ages and have the benefit of instilling closer community spirit & "brotherhood" as you put it. But we have a proven democratic & commercial system that can work well in everyone’s best interest to generate wealth, prosperity and high standard of living for all Australians. But it must be correctly managed & steered. Like a high powered sports car, Mack Truck or any machine. They're about as useful as a treadley with a trailer aback, if they can’t be driven or properly operated. Pretty well just like our governments! Cheers Furbo!
Lou Furbadamo | 31/07/2012 09:28 5
As fervent critic and condemning doomsayer of government industrial policy and it’s gross structural & political inefficiency & waste for nearly thirty years. There’s no pleasure in being painfully proven correct! Rather, amazement and disdain that our entrusted, high paid snorters get it so wrong, for so long. And, unfathomable disgust at the ignorant arrogance that still concedes it to happen, daily! There may’ve been excusable delusional bigoted optimism in early days. But imminent manufacturing doom & failure has been abundantly predictable for most of that time. Various government & “expert jest enquiries”, coupled with numerous defeatist releases and resigned discussion. Repeatedly confirm what’s treacherously in store for ailing Australian industry, workers & communities as consequence of the difficult “government cost handicapped unlevel playing field” they’re forced to compete & fail in. Resistance by Gov. to properly undertake structural & efficiency reforms, support conditional & properly targeted tariff protection & subsidies and retrieve & lower the exchange and interest rates respectively, are blatant indicators of hopeless sacrificial acquiescence, that’s betrayed a nation! There’s no solace knowing that we’ve nevertheless, managed to balance the budget for most of that time through the sale of unrenewable exports & country. Rapid, forced, bargain basement liquidation selling of our minerals, mines, farms and ever increasing spruiking national loyalty, isn’t long term sustainable nor honourable. It merely selfishly forces painful economic frugal readjustments and pain unfairly onto future generations. I’ve repeatedly questioned, what do the worker’s supposed protectors, the unions have to say about the worsening malaise & dismissive government retrograde spin? Obediently not much? Indeed retail sector union “intrepideer Rep” suggested metal industry workers could be better employed in his expanding industry! Yes, we could finally gown our closeted dress & glossy sparkle lipstick and all friendly checkout chick sell stuff at Coles & Woolies? And one day, they might work out how to actually create the wealth required to spend & sustain our new sales jobs too! The current ministerial fob off “silver baloney” is deviously consistent! Albeit, astoundingly from an ex unionist and would be “Desperately Seeking a Sussie Next Labour Leader Shemozzle”! How easy it must be for some fast emergent saplings to quickly forget to water & fertilise their supporting root base? Consequently, the Canberra portfolio should presumably more accurately be called “De-Productivity”, such is the apparent clueless intransigence & defeatist de-anticipation? Talk about merciless, dejecting, morale sapping disappointment for devastated comrades? But, then what can be expected from plastic credit card, back room meteorically catapulted, “ex rank & filers, trying to run a country”, with a dreamer team of equally disorientated & stuff up prone Labour fillers? Their “Shell shocked defeatist paradigm is wrong” and is deviously hedging failed industry & employee bets! In reality, “there are expensive silver bullets, even golden Bond bullets” to expensively fix industry problems! But, successful results can be sensibly achieved without extreme resort! Why waste the rare & expensive, when cheap brassies or anything that stops wasteful Canberran nitwits participating in important national decisions will suffice? In China, the firing squad is used for serious misdemeanours & silencing negligent national failures? But we’ve “short strawed” & undauntedly get cavalcades of repeat policy fizzers! Who, rather than boost, support, & motivate as respected leaders, seem to yearn to further stick the boot & gloom into struggling local industry! What’s the point of commissioning an enquiry if you start pouring cold water on expectations even before i
Lou Furbadamo | 31/07/2012 12:53 6
Contd: What’s the point of commissioning an enquiry, if you start pouring cold water on expectations even before it’s released? Australia urgently needs affirmative restructuring & recovery planning to improve operating efficiency & competitiveness. But that won’t be achieved by gloss over, or by forming another committee to report on another bureaucratic nonsense plan review obscurely named “Fair Work Act”. What does it mean? How is it different from all the previous drab enquiries? How will it deliver genuine efficiency and competitive improvements to save local manufacturing. How can you have an objective, credible inquiry into predominantly production & manufacturing based industries. If you exclusively appoint lawyers, bankers & bean counters to the committees. What would they know about the working cogs of the businesses? Where’s you engineering & technical inputs, from people who appreciate & know the worth of such businesses and what it takes to re-establish once gone? Experience suggests it’ll be another mostly wasteful white wash exercise! So why bother, unless it’s political pretence to fluff up dopey comrades! It’s cynically claimed submissions “showed everyone would like a bit more of what they did not have”? Well, industry & workers obviously saw underperforming politicians & Co. snorting an undeserving over abundance! So why not a fairer share for them & workers? It’s laughably naïve, if not idiotic to say “it was naive to believe that you could simply pass a law in Canberra and all of a sudden productivity exploded at the worksite”. Cause that’s what high paid politicians & advisers are there for? To properly legislate & successfully manage? Perhaps, this batch aren’t up to the task? So, why not get clues from the Chinese, when next gallivanting about there. Cause bugger me! They’re consistently getting such elusive good results at their work sites, that they’re putting us out of business! Meanwhile, look at our hopeless vocabulary of failure "a lot of what the government does is about enhancing productivity in the workplace, not.. having a debate about which particular law you would change in Canberra." Oh No! Don’t ever change or improve any miserably failed policy? Further “there needed to be greater co-operation and collaboration at high skilled, well remunerated workplaces”. What does that mean? That Ford, Quantas, CMI, Toyota, Bridgestone, Caltex, Darrell Lea, Orlando & Elders needed to be in closer cahoots with the mining companies for survival? What about the struggling shop retailer? How’re they all going to do that? Where’s the “high skill collaboration” requirement for sticking a cork & label on a bottle or selling an “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” off the rack? If the committee’s premise solely concur with "Regulation plays a role in contributing to productivity.. as does world class infrastructure,. highly skilled workforce,. Quality of managerial leadership within enterprises itself”. Then Australia is truly stuffed, cause this contrived statement lacks broader understanding of fundamental competitive requirements and changes for future market success, that won’t be addressed! And will be another embarrassing waste! So save money! Don’t bother releasing another nonsense report? Cause, it’s too restrictive & flawed to deliver satisfactory results. But seeing they insist on appointing non engineering bankers, lawyers and accountants to review our industry’s progressive demise. They might instead appoint future liquidators who’re paid on carcass sale commission & save the tax payer some money! Cheers Furbo!
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