ADDING ANOTHER string to his bow, Corrs Chambers Westgarth CEO John Denton has been appointed co-chairman of the Federal Government’s Business Advisory Group, a group which will work with the government to draft the new workplace relations legislation.
Denton, who will share chairing duties with Deputy Prime Minister and Employment & Workplaces Relations Minister Julia Gillard, will head up a group of business leaders representing the construction, mining, transport, hospitality, retail, banking, labour hire and media industries.
The role of the Business Advisory Group will be to provide advice and feedback to the government as part of the drafting of new workplace regulations legislation. The group will work alongside the Small Business Working Group which will advise specifically on matters concerning small businesses.
According to Denton, having constructive input from important industry sectors will help the government to develop new workplace laws that work as effectively as possible in practice.
“What’s critical is that the Deputy Prime Minister and the government are able to engage with senior members of the business community and representatives of various sectors to ensure that the practical issues — the issues that actual affect businesses and real people — are thought through,” he said.
“As you know, it’s very easy to have a great piece of drafted legislation which can have unintended consequences and often the actual impact of legislation is poorly thought through,” Denton said. “The intention [in creating the group] is to ensure that there can be a very open discussion at the most senior level to ensure that the interests of the public are considered as well as possible. I think that’s very positive in the sense that the government has indicated a very significant openness to engaging with business.
Denton said that his role as co-chairman will involve overseeing the group meetings and ensuring that the views of different industry sectors are properly considered as part of the process of drafting the new legislation.
“I’ll be working with a very distinguishes group of people, representatives from important sectors of the economy, to ensure that the multiplicity of views they will have on how things really operate in business are heard and understood, and if possible, that any questions hey have are effectively dealt with,” he said.
The substantive workplace relations legislation is due to be introduced later this year.