The Fair Work Act and the Referrals Power – Keeping the States in the Game
Australian Journal of Labour Law, Vol. 24, pp.1-23, 2011
23 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2011 Last revised: 7 Feb 2012
Date Written: August 8, 2011
This article discusses the recent referrals by five of the Australian States so as to extend the coverage of the Commonwealth’s Fair Work Act 2009 (CTH) as a national industrial relations system beyond the limits imposed by the latter’s existing constitutional powers. In so doing it highlights the governance arrangements underpinning the referral and the continued opportunity for participation that the States, as well as the Territories, enjoy in this area. The extent of the specific referrals is discussed, with differences between co-operating States noted. This analysis is situated in the context of interpretation of the constitutional power with respect to referrals in s 51(xxxvii) of the Constitution more generally and lingering ambiguities as to that power.
Keywords: referrals power, co-operative federalism, industrial relations
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation