| FWCFB 7097|
|FAIR WORK COMMISSION|
Transport Workers' Union of Australia
Fair Work Act 2009
s.604 - Appeal of decisions
VICE PRESIDENT CATANZARITI
SYDNEY, 28 OCTOBER 2014
Appeal against decision  FWCA 3338 of Deputy President Sams at Sydney on 23 May 2014 in matter number AG2014/5151.
 This is an appeal by the Transport Workers’ Union of Australia (the TWU) against a decision 1 (Decision) of Deputy President Sams in which the Deputy President approved an enterprise agreement known as the Ace Buses Enterprise Agreement 2014 (the Agreement).
 At the hearing of this appeal on 22 August 2014, the TWU sought permission to be represented by A Howell of Counsel. Jarman Ace Pty Ltd T/A Ace Buses (the Respondent) sought permission to be represented by A J Coulthard of Counsel. Permission was granted to both parties on the basis that we were satisfied that the subject matter of the appeal was sufficiently complex that allowing legal representation would enable the matter to be dealt with more efficiently.
 The Agreement covers 69 casual employees engaged as bus drivers, bus supervisors or administration staff. The bus drivers transport physically and intellectually disabled school aged children between their homes and their schools. A bus supervisor is required to accompany each bus driver on every trip.
 The TWU opposed the application for approval of the Agreement at first instance on the basis that it did not satisfy the ‘better off overall test’ (the BOOT) for the purposes of s.193(1) of the Fair Work Act 2009 (the Act). It was accepted by both parties that the Passenger Vehicle Transportation Award 2010 [MA000063] (the Award) was a relevant reference instrument for the purposes of determining the BOOT.
 The nature of the work performed by the Respondent requires employees to perform split shifts; one shift in the morning to drive the children to school and one shift in the afternoon to drive the children home. The primary contention between the parties related to the issue of minimum engagement periods. Under the Agreement, it is the sum of the parts of a split shift that are utilised when calculating a minimum engagement period. For example, an employee who performs a split shift made up of two 25 minute parts is considered to have worked for a total of 50 minutes, and under the Agreement that employee would be entitled to two hours’ pay for the day. The TWU argued that under the Award, on its proper interpretation, employees in the same position would be considered to have been engaged twice, and would therefore be entitled to payment for two separate minimum engagements.
 The relevant parts of the Agreement are set out below:
(d) Given the nature of the work the Bus Drivers and Bus Supervisors perform, they work a split shift which comprises of two parts:
(i) First part is worked between 7:00am to 9:00am when they collect the passengers from their places of residence and transport them to their school; and
(ii) Second part is worked between 2:00pm to 4:30pm when they collect the passengers from their school and transport them to their place of residence.
(e) Bus Drivers and Bus Supervisors are required to work both parts of the split shift set out in clause 12.3(d). If a Bus Driver or Bus Supervisor is not available to work both the morning and afternoon parts of the split shift, they will not be able to work the shift for that day and a relief Bus Driver or Bus Supervisor will be used to work the entire split shift for that day. The Company has the discretion to override this clause in the case of a legitimate emergency which prevents an employee working either part the split shift.
(f) While the Bus Drivers and Bus Supervisors work between the span of hours set out in clause 12.3(d), the actual time worked in each part of the split shift varies from 25 minutes to 2 hours depending upon the bus route and the number of passengers being transported, and the total time worked across both parts of the split shift varies from 50 minutes to 4 hours.
(g) Bus Drivers and Bus Supervisors will be paid the following minimum payments for the split shift:
(i) where the total time worked across the split shift is less than 2 hours, they will be paid a minimum of 3 hours; and
(ii) where the total time worked across the split shift is more than 2.5 hours but less than 3 hours per day, they will be paid a minimum of 3.5 hours; and
(iii) where the total time worked across the split shift is more than 3 hours and less than 3.5 hours per day, they will be paid a minimum of 4 hours; and
(iv) where the total time worked across the split shift is more than 3.5 hours and less than 4 hours per day, they will be paid a minimum of 4.5 hours.
(h) The minimum payments in clause 12.4(g) are payments inclusive of both parts of the split shift, therefore for the total shift not for each part of the split shift.
 The Award deals with the minimum engagement of casuals in cl. 10.5(d) as follows:
“(d) A casual employee is to be paid a minimum payment of three hours pay for each shift. A casual employee solely engaged for the purpose of transportation of school children to and from school is to be paid a minimum payment of two hours for each engagement.”
 The Deputy President made the following findings in relation to the BOOT:
“There is no doubt that the Commission may take into account non-monetary benefits under an enterprise agreement when assessing whether the BOOT is satisfied (supra above). In this case, I accept that non-monetary benefits include the following:
(a) A Bus Driver commences his/her shift from home. As the Union conceded, this is an unusual feature within the bus transport industry. For most other operators, a driver’s travelling time, to and from the depot, is in their own time. Under this Agreement, Bus Drivers have the convenience of starting and finishing their shifts from home. While I accept the advantage will vary according to distances from home and the first pick-up and last drop off, on any view, this arrangement is a significant benefit.
(b) The bus may be used, with permission, for personal purposes. While I was provided with no evidence as to the extent of takeup of this concession, there is no doubt that this is a benefit; albeit a relatively modest one.
(c) For those employees (25) whose primary employment is with Education Queensland, having the use of the bus to drive to and from their job at the school where they take the children is a further non-monetary benefit.
(d) Split shifts vary from 50 minutes to 4 hours. As most of the Drivers are not required to work the minimum engagements of 2 x 2 hour engagements a day, they are free to return home without working the balance of the engagements.
(e) All drivers are provided with a mobile phone, which they can keep if replaced.
As to monetary benefits, it is clear, as the Union accepted, that the rates under the Agreement are higher than under the Awards. The differential for Bus Drivers is 4.3% and for Bus Supervisors is 0.5%. I note that the pay rates are to be annually adjusted in accordance with the Commission’s Minimum Wage Review Decision. Given the nature of the applicant’s business, a number of Award allowances are not applicable to the employees to be covered by the Agreement. Accordingly, they are not to be taken into account in assessing the BOOT.
The Union’s case is predicated on an interpretation of the term ‘engagement’ as it applies to casual Bus Drivers and Bus Supervisors who work a broken shift. It is obvious that there are different views in the industry as to whether each part of the broken shift is a separate engagement and whether a two hour minimum payment applies to each part. See: the Agreements in para  above. It will be readily apparent that the term ‘engagement’ (I suspect deliberately) is not used at all in cl 12. Rather, the clause speaks of ‘part’ of the shift. In addition, I note that I have not been asked to interpret the Agreement provision in these proceedings (although this would seem problematic given the word ‘engagement’ is not used). However, as the Union put, this issue is to be considered in the upcoming Four Yearly Review of Modern Awards where the position will no doubt be clarified.
Notwithstanding the decision of Bissett C in TWU v APTIA, I do not accept that this matter is definitively settled and certainly not by a Full Bench, which I would be bound to follow. I do not understand the Full Bench decision ( AIRCFB 826) cited by Bissett C in TWU v APTIA to have determined the issue of whether the term ‘engagement’ in the Modern Award meant that casual bus drivers who transport children to and from school, and who work a split shift, should be entitled to two minimum engagement payments of two hours. In my view, the Union’s interpretation of an engagement for the purposes of the BOOT in this case, is open to different interpretations and cannot be said to be conclusive. I note that Bissett C said that the Union’s proposed clause in that case had the potential to create more confusion than it solved (para ).
The objects of Part 2.4 of the Act include: ‘to provide a simple, flexible and fair framework that enables collective bargaining in good faith, particularly at the enterprise level, for enterprise agreements that deliver productivity benefits’ (s 171(a)). Given that the underpinning purpose of an enterprise agreement is to provide flexibility and benefits for both employees and the employer in a manner which suits the specific circumstances of the business, cl 12, in my opinion, meets that purpose. However, the Agreement must still meet the BOOT. While I consider this matter to be finely balanced, I am satisfied that the employees are ‘better off’ overall and, accordingly, the BOOT is met. In those circumstances, the Commission cannot refuse to approve the Agreement (s 186(1)).” 2
 The Deputy President continued to find that even if he were wrong about meeting the BOOT, he was satisfied that he would approve the Agreement pursuant to s.189 of the Act which allows the Fair Work Commission (the Commission) to approve an agreement if, due to ‘exceptional circumstances’, it would not be contrary to the public interest to do so.
 The Deputy President made the following findings in relation to this issue:
“In applying the principles espoused in Nulty, that ‘exceptional circumstances’ means ‘out of the ordinary course, or unusual, or special, or uncommon’, I am satisfied that such a finding is open in this case. I note the Union acknowledged that it was ‘unusual’ for a bus company not to have a depot which the Bus Drivers left from and returned to. It has specifically structured its business in this way to take account of the important service it provides in transporting physically and mentally disabled schoolchildren to and from their school with the minimum of inconvenience to them and their families. It might also be said that the ability of some of the drivers to also be engaged as employees of Education Queensland at the school to which the children are transported, constitutes an unusual and special employment arrangement.
Given the important community service in which the applicant is engaged in, I am satisfied that it would not be contrary to the public interest for the employees to work their special arrangements under the Agreement, so as to meet the critical needs of their passengers. Accordingly, I would also approve this Agreement based on the requirements set out in s 189 of the Act.” 3
 The TWU submits on appeal that the Deputy President erred in his consideration of the benefits said to flow from the Agreement. It is submitted that the Decision discloses error as the Deputy President took into account irrelevant matters and failed to adopt the correct approach in assessing whether the Agreement passed the BOOT, including by failing to apply the BOOT to the correct point in time. Further, it was submitted that the Deputy President erred in his application of s.189(2) of the Act in finding that exceptional circumstances existed such that the approval of the Agreement would not be contrary to the public interest despite it not satisfying the BOOT.
 The TWU submitted that there was ambiguity in the Decision as the Deputy President found that the interpretation of the Award was not “definitively settled” but did not explicitly reject the TWU’s interpretation of the Award. 4 The TWU contends that the Decision must be approached on the basis that the Deputy President accepted the interpretation of the Award put forward by the TWU and that this formed the basis of his application of the BOOT. While it is not explicitly stated in the Decision, it is clear that the Deputy President was of the view that even if he were to accept the TWU’s interpretation of the Award, he was still satisfied that the Agreement met the BOOT. Such an approach was open to the Deputy President, and we find no error in this respect.
 The TWU also submitted that the Deputy President was in error in relation to a number of benefits that he found to be relevant in applying the BOOT. These submissions will be dealt with individually below.
Employee’s commencing work from own home
 The TWU submits that the Deputy President was in error to consider that the fact that employees do not have to travel to a central depot was a benefit flowing from the Agreement as opposed to working under the Award. The TWU contends that this benefit is not related to the Agreement, but arises purely out of the manner in which the Respondent operates its business.
 The Respondent submits that this operational aspect of its business is “enshrined” in cl. 19 of the Agreement which provides as follows:
“19 Company Buses
19.1 The Company provides each Bus Driver with a fully maintained Company bus ('Bus').
19.2 The Bus Drivers use the Bus allocated to them for the performance of their duties and garage the Bus at the place of residence at all times that the Bus is not on its designated route. The Bus needs to be kept locked and secure at all times when not in service. The Company accepts the Bus Driver may not have a garage capable of parking the Bus in, but the Bus must be parked on the property in a safe place.
19.3 The Bus Drivers start each shift for their designated bus route from their place of residence and return to their place of residence. They are not required to attend the premises of the Company. Therefore, each Bus Driver obtains the benefit of not:
(a) spending time travelling to and from work to start their shift each working day; and
(b) having to have a personal vehicle (including its running costs), or incur other costs to travel to the Company's premises, to collect their Bus and start their shift on their designated route.
19.4 Some of the Company's Bus Drivers are also employees of Education Queensland and work at the school where they are transporting students to. These Bus Drivers obtain the benefit of using the Bus as a cost free means of travelling to their primary place of employment each working day, and home again, whilst performing their duties for the Company.
19.5 Bus routes are determined taking into account the location of a Bus Drivers place of residence and making the first student collection as close as possible to the Bus Driver's place of residence in order to minimise the length of running time between the Bus Driver's home and the start of the bus route. This provides each Bus Driver with a tailor made bus route to suit the location of their place of residence.
19.6 Bus Drivers and Bus Supervisors have a large degree of autonomy in the performance of their duties but have access to the Directors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for any support they may require.
19.7 The Company provides the Bus Drivers with a bus that is not more than 15 years old and all new buses since the beginning of 2013 and onward are automatic buses to ensure driver comfort and more ease when driving, particularly less stress on their knees due to not having to use a clutch.
19.8 Management from the Company collect the Buses from each Bus Driver's place of residence when required for maintenance, servicing or machinery inspections. They are collected and returned outside of the times allocated to bus routes unless the bus requires urgent repairs, at which time the Bus is replaced with another Bus to allow the Bus Driver to service the bus route whilst the Bus is being repaired.
19.9 Bus Drivers and Bus Supervisors are required to keep their Bus in a clean and tidy appearance each day. Bus Drivers are required to wash their bus regularly and as needed to maintain it in a clean appearance at all times. If the Company considers the bus needs to be cleaned at any time, the Directors may direct the Bus Driver to wash the Bus. If the Company considers the bus is not being kept in a clean and tidy condition at any time, the Directors may direct the Bus Driver and Bus Supervisor to clean and tidy the bus. The Company has included an allowance for bus washing in the Wages in Schedule 1.
19.10 Bus Drivers are required to refuel their Bus and keep their Bus sufficiently fuelled to enable completion of their daily school run. The Company has included an allowance for bus refuelling in your Wage in Schedule 1.
19.11 Refuelling of the bus is to be performed at the Company's nominated fuel supplier, BP Australia, at a service station location that is the most convenient for the Bus Driver. Refuelling is never to be done when students are on board the bus.
19.12 All running expenses, cleaning equipment and supplies and any bus incidental supplies such as tissues, first aid supplies, disinfectant wipes and sprays, are provided by the Company.
19.13 Bus Driver's [sic] may request to use the Bus for personal use. If a Bus Driver wishes to use the Bus for a personal use the Bus Driver must first speak to the Directors and obtain prior approval to do so. Generally, the Directors will not deny the Bus Driver's request. If a Bus Driver uses a Bus for personal use without prior approval from the Director's, the Bus Driver may be subject to disciplinary proceedings, up to and including dismissal.”
 The Respondent accepts that the language used is descriptive and not prescriptive, but asserts that it would be an overly prescriptive approach to the interpretation of the Agreement to conclude that the Respondent could, despite cl. 19, introduce a centralised depot and not be in breach of the Agreement. Despite this submission, the Respondent has provided an undertaking that it will not introduce a centralised depot for the life of the Agreement.
 We are satisfied that the benefits described in cl. 19 are benefits that flow from the Agreement and were properly taken into account by the Deputy President in his application of the BOOT. Despite the descriptive language, any change to the terms and conditions of employment as set out in cl. 19 would enliven a claim pursuant to cl. 6 of the Agreement which provides as follows:
“6 No Further Claims Commitment
The parties to this Agreement undertake that during the period of operation of this Agreement neither party will seek any changes to the terms and conditions of employment in this Agreement or seek further remuneration or employee benefits not contained in this Agreement for the duration of this Agreement.”
 When considered contextually, it is clear that cl. 19 does provide a benefit to the Respondent’s employees. In light of this finding, there is no need to rely on any undertaking from the employer in relation to this aspect of the Agreement.
 The Respondent submitted at first instance that if it was forced to pay its employees for two hours for each part of the split shift performed it would review it operations and likely implement a centralised depot. The TWU now submits that this “threat” was of no relevance in applying the BOOT, as the BOOT requires a comparison of terms and conditions of employment at the time the test is applied rather than an assessment of the practices and working arrangements that may flow from the terms of a reference instrument. 5 While the TWU does not assert that the Deputy President made this error in his application of the BOOT, to avoid doubt, we find that the Deputy President made no such error in applying the BOOT.
Use of bus for personal purposes
 The Deputy President found that the ability of the drivers to use the bus for personal purposes with the permission of the Respondent was a benefit, albeit a “relatively modest one.” 6 Clause 19.13 of the Agreement, extracted above, provides that prior approval must be obtained in order to use a bus for private purposes but that “[g]enerally, the Directors will not deny the Bus Driver’s request.” The TWU argue that this provision provides no benefit to drivers as compared with the Award, as bus drivers are free to seek permission to use a bus for personal purposes under the Award (which is silent on the issue).
 We are not satisfied that the TWU has demonstrated an error on the Deputy President’s part in making this finding. Absent cl. 19.13 of the Agreement, the Respondent would be entitled to introduce a policy that prevented its employees from using the buses for personal purposes at all. While we agree with the Deputy President’s assessment that this is a “relatively modest” benefit, we are not satisfied that his Honour has made an error in considering this to be a benefit.
Drivers not required to work minimum engagement period
 The Deputy President found that it was a benefit to the employees that they were free to return home after they had finished their shift and were not required to work the balance of the minimum engagement period. The TWU submitted that this factor does not properly constitute a benefit under the Agreement, as the Award also provides for a minimum engagement period and does not require that the employee be directed to perform work for the full period of the engagement.
 When considered in context, however, it is clear that the reason employees are free to go directly home once they have finished working their shift and are not required to work the balance of the minimum engagement period is a consequence of the various terms and conditions specified in cll. 19 and 12 of the Agreement. We are not satisfied that the Deputy President has made an error in this finding.
 The Deputy President found that it was a benefit to the employees that they were provided with mobile phones and were entitled to keep those phones if the company replaced them. The TWU did not submit that the Deputy President made an error in this finding but submitted that this benefit is negligible at best. Even were we to accept the TWU’s submissions on this point, it would not be of any benefit in determining whether or not the TWU’s appeal should be allowed. We find that this factor is an irrelevant consideration for present purposes.
 The TWU asserts that the Deputy President appears to have disregarded the position of bus supervisors in his assessment of the non-monetary benefits associated with the Agreement. The TWU asserts that bus supervisors do not obtain any benefit from arrangements permitting drivers to commence their shift from their place of residence or from the possibility of personal use of a bus and are not provided with a mobile phone. It is asserted that the Deputy President erred by failing to separately consider whether the bus supervisors were better off overall under the Agreement, on the basis that it was the non-monetary benefits that were considered to outweigh the detrimental provision relating to minimum engagements.
 The Respondent submitted that while the Deputy President did not deal separately with the position of the bus supervisors, it is clear throughout the Decision that the Deputy President considered their position and that the conditions for supervisors are separately dealt with in cll. 12 and 19 of the Agreement. The Respondent further submitted that of the 26 employees who work for Education Queensland, and therefore have the benefit of being able to leave the bus at their workplace for the duration of the day and to utilise it to return home, 16 are bus supervisors.
 We are satisfied that the Deputy President took into account the position of the bus supervisors in coming to his decision on the BOOT. The Deputy President noted in his Decision that under the Agreement bus supervisors are paid at a rate 0.5% higher than the Award. The Deputy President also makes explicit reference to bus supervisors in considering the position of employees with respect to the Agreement’s split shift provisions. It is also clear that there would be benefits for bus supervisors as well as drivers in the arrangements regarding how time worked is calculated under the Agreement. In these circumstances, we can see no appealable error in the Deputy President’s approach.
 The application of the BOOT is a matter that involves the exercise of discretion, and it involves a degree of subjectivity or value judgement. 7 Whether this Full Bench would have come to a different conclusion is not relevant. The issue before us is whether the Deputy President made an error of the kind described in House v The King8 in making his decision. We are not satisfied that any such error was made in the Deputy President’s application of the BOOT.
Approval of the Agreement pursuant to s.189
 Even if it was determined that the BOOT was not met, we are nonetheless satisfied that the Deputy President did not err in finding that the Agreement could otherwise be approved in accordance with s.189(2) of the Act.
 Section 189 of the Act provides as follows:
“189 FWC may approve an enterprise agreement that does not pass better off overall test—public interest test
Application of this section
(1) This section applies if:
(a) the FWC is not required to approve an enterprise agreement under section 186; and
(b) the only reason for this is that the FWC is not satisfied that the agreement passes the better off overall test.
Approval of agreement if not contrary to the public interest
(2) The FWC may approve the agreement under this section if the FWC is satisfied that, because of exceptional circumstances, the approval of the agreement would not be contrary to the public interest.
Note: The FWC may approve an enterprise agreement under this section with undertakings (see section 190).
(3) An example of a case in which the FWC may be satisfied of the matter referred to in subsection (2) is where the agreement is part of a reasonable strategy to deal with a short term crisis in, and to assist in the revival of, the enterprise of an employer covered by the agreement.
 The TWU’s submissions can be summarised as follows:
1. There was no logical connection between the “exceptional circumstances” that the Deputy President identified (namely, the lack of a centralised depot and the ability for some employees to also be engaged as employees of Education Queensland at the schools to which the children are transported) and the public interest.
2. It is a fundamental feature of the Act that modern awards set safety net conditions of employment applicable across particular industries. The Deputy President erred in not having regard to the interests of employees covered by the Award generally or the public interest consideration in maintaining a level playing field among employees in a particular industry or sector.
 In relation to whether the exceptional circumstances identified by the Deputy President were logically connected with the public interest, we are satisfied that the Deputy President adequately drew this connection. The Deputy President explicitly explained this logical connection by stating that “[the Respondent] has specifically structured its business in this way to take account of the important service it provides in transporting physically and mentally disabled schoolchildren to and from their school with the minimum of inconvenience to them and their families.” 9 We are satisfied that the Deputy President adequately explained the logical connection between the exceptional circumstances identified by the Deputy President and the public interest.
 Further, while the Deputy President did not explicitly refer to the public interest in maintaining a level playing field among employees in a particularly industry or sector, we are not satisfied that he was required to do so in the circumstances. In Re Jellifish! Pty Ltd, 10 (Re Jellifish!) Asbury C (as she then was) said:
“With respect to the “public interest” consideration in s 189(2) it is true, as observed by Deputy President Bartel in Top End Consulting that the requirement is for the Tribunal to be satisfied that the existence of exceptional circumstances makes the approval of the agreement “not contrary to the public interest” rather than to be satisfied in a positive sense that approval of the agreement is in the public interest. It is also the case that the expression “in the public interest” when used in legislation, is to be determined by making a discretionary value judgment on the relevant facts, constrained only by the scope and purpose of the legislation.
In relation to public interest in the context of the Act, Vice President Lawler in Re Tahmoor Coal Pty Ltd cited the following passage from the Full Bench decision of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission in Re Kellogg Brown and Root, Bass Strait (Esso) Onshore/Offshore Facilities Certified Agreement 2000:
The notion of public interest refers to matters that might affect the public as a whole such as the achievement or otherwise of the various objects of the Act, employment levels, inflation, and the maintenance of proper industrial standards. An example of something in the last category may be a case in which there was no applicable award and the termination of the agreement would lead to an absence of award coverage for the employees. While the content of the notion of public interest cannot be precisely defined, it is distinct in nature from the interests of the parties. And although the public interest and the interests of the parties may be simultaneously affected, that fact does not lessen the distinction between them.
In my view, public interest considerations in the context of s 189 could involve deciding whether a term of an agreement sought to be approved under that provision, undermines or reduces entitlements in a modern award to the extent that members of the public whose employment is regulated by that award may have interests which are impacted by the approval of the agreement. It may also be the case that there is a public interest consideration in maintaining a level playing field among employees in a particular industry or sector. This is particularly so given that the Objects of the Act include at s 3(b):
ensuring a guaranteed safety net of fair, relevant and enforceable minimum terms and conditions through the National Employment Standards, modern awards and national minimum wage orders.” 11
 Section 189 of the Act requires a decision-maker to make a discretionary decision in determining if he or she is satisfied that, because of exceptional circumstances, the approval of the agreement would not be contrary to the public interest. In these circumstances, we may only interfere where an error of the kind in House v The King 12 is established. In House v The King the majority of the High Court said:
“The manner in which an appeal against an exercise of discretion should be determined is governed by established principles. It is not enough that the judges composing the appellate court consider that, if they had been in the position of the primary judge, they would have taken a different course. It must appear that some error has been made in exercising the discretion. If the judge acts upon a wrong principle, if he allows extraneous or irrelevant matters to guide or affect him, if he mistakes the facts, if he does not take into account some material consideration, then his determination should be reviewed and the appellate court may exercise its own discretion in substitution for his if it has the materials for doing so.” 13
 We are not satisfied that the Deputy President has improperly exercised his discretion in determining that, because of exceptional circumstances, the approval of the agreement would not be contrary to the public interest. The factors that Asbury C identified in Re Jellifish! are matters that could be taken into account when considering whether or not the Commission should utilise its discretion to approve an agreement in accordance with s.189 of the Act. There is, however, no obligation for a decision-maker to expressly refer to each of the factors identified by Asbury C. We are satisfied that the Deputy President properly exercised his discretion in identifying relevant exceptional circumstances and proceeding to find that it was not contrary to the public interest for the Agreement to be approved.
 The Commission must grant permission to appeal if it is satisfied it is in the public interest to do so. 14 In GlaxoSmithKline Australia Pty Ltd v Colin Makin,15 a Full Bench summarised the concept of public interest in the following terms:
“Although the public interest might be attracted where a matter raises issues of importance and general application, or where there is a diversity of decisions at first instance so that guidance from an appellate court is required, or where the decision at first instance manifests an injustice, or the result is counter intuitive, or that the legal principles applied appear disharmonious when compared with other recent decisions dealing with similar matters...”
 We do not consider that the TWU has demonstrated that it is in the public interest to grant it permission to appeal the Deputy President’s Decision.
 As the Deputy President was not in error, the first instance Decision does not manifest any injustice, nor does the Deputy President’s Decision warrant revisiting. Permission to appeal is refused.
A Howell of Counsel for the Transport Workers’ Union of Australia.
A J Coulthard of Counsel for Jarman Ace Pty Ltd T/A Ace Buses.
Sydney and Brisbane (video hearing):
1 Jarman Ace Pty Ltd t/as Ace Buses  FWCA 3338.
2 Ibid -.
3 Ibid -.
4 Ibid .
5 Top End Consulting Pty Ltd  FWA 6442, -.
6 Jarman Ace Pty Ltd t/as Ace Buses  FWCA 3338, .
7 ALDI Foods Pty Ltd v Transport Workers' Union of Australia (2012) 227 IR 120, 123–4.
8 (1936) 55 CLR 499, 505.
9 Jarman Ace Pty Ltd t/as Ace Buses  FWCA 3338, .
10 (2012) 227 IR 372.
11 Re Jellifish! Pty Ltd (2012) 227 IR 372, 392.
12 (1936) 55 CLR 499.
13 House v The King (1936) 55 CLR 499, 404–405.
14 Fair Work Act 2009, s.604(2).
15  FWAFB 5343 at .
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