A recent challenge to the validity of the WorkChoices legislation was dismissed by the High Court of Australia.
The governments of New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and Queensland, as well as the Australian Workers Union and Unions NSW, challenged the Federal Government’s use of the corporations’ power contained in the Australian constitution, to create the WorkChoices legislation.
The High Court ruled in favour of the Federal Government, with a five-to-two majority.
NSW Minister for Industrial Relations John Della Bosca, says although the ruling confirms WorkChoices is constitutional, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s fair. “NSW families and workers know these laws are wrong and are suffering through the loss of weekend, overtime and holiday penalty rates while businesses are confused by the new and onerous red tape.”
Despite the blow, Anna Bligh, Acting Premier for Queensland, says her government will continue its fight for Australian workers. “We will consider a range of measures, including toughening child labour laws and helping workers hold on to their rights under common law contract provisions.”