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2008 : another 'watershed' year in the industrial relations history of Australia?

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conference contribution
posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Gordon Stewart, S Horneman-Wren
In a previous paper, the authors (Stewart & Horneman-Wren 2006) argued that the enactment of the Workplace Relations Amendment (Work Choices) Act 2005 represented a ‘watershed’ in the history of industrial relations in Australia. At that time, Gordon Stewart and Sandy Horneman-Wren (2006, p. 31) argued ‘that there will be no easy or obvious turning back to an era dominated by a comprehensive system of industrial awards, which are maintained by a quasi-social partnership of governments, trade unions, employer associations and tribunal members’. They further argued that ‘the movement away from the conciliation and arbitration power towards the corporations power of the Commonwealth Constitution has substance’. Be that as it may, the purpose of this particular paper is to assess the extent to which the Rudd Government’s industrial relations legislation (both enacted and proposed) modifies or qualifies this assessment of the significance of the Howard Government’s Workplace Relations Amendment (Work Choices) Act 2005.


Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)


Parent Title

PERA 2008. Proceedings of the 8th Annual Pacific Employment Relations Association Conference, 19-22 November 2009, Ballarat, Vic.

Start Page


End Page


Number of Pages


Start Date





Ballarat, Victoria


University of Ballarat

Place of Publication

Ballarat, Vic

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

External Author Affiliations

Conference; Faculty of Arts, Business, Informatics and Education; Not affiliated to a Research Institute;

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Name of Conference

Pacific Employment Relations Association. Conference