[2010] FWAFB 6309

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Fair Work Act 2009
s.302—Application for an equal remuneration order

Equal Remuneration Case




[1] On 27 April 2010 we issued a statement concerning the programming of this application and made a number of directions. The directions included one requiring the applicants to file an outline of their contentions, statements of evidence and any other material on which they will seek to rely by 3 June 2010. There was also a direction requiring all other parties to file an outline of their contentions, statements of evidence and any other material on which they will seek to rely by 6 August 2010. Not all parties complied with that direction, for reasons we now refer to.

[2] On 17 July 2010 the Prime Minister announced that a general election would take place on 21 August 2010. On 26 July 2010 a Deputy Secretary of the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Mr Kovacic, wrote to the acting President indicating that because of the election the Australian Government had assumed a caretaker role and, as a consequence, is unable to participate in Fair Work Australia proceedings. Mr Kovacic requested that consideration be given to extending the date for filing the Government’s outline of contentions from 6 August 2010 to 23 September 2010. He also suggested that a mention hearing scheduled for 13 August 2010 be postponed until mid-September 2010.

[3] The mention hearing scheduled for 13 August proceeded and interested parties made submissions concerning the implications of the Australian Government’s letter of 26 July 2010. Other issues of programming and procedure were also dealt with. There was general support for extending the date for filing of material as proposed by the Government, although there was some disagreement as to the length of the extension. Some parties indicated that they had not filed their material by the due date in anticipation of an extension being granted. We have decided to extend the date for filing material to 16 September 2010 for the Australian Government, the ACTU and any other party supporting the application. All other parties should file their material by 23 September 2010. We shall also make provision for the applicants to file witness statements and other evidentiary material in reply by 4 October 2010. Further directions are included at the end of this statement.

[4] We mention some other matters. In our statement of 27 April 2010 we reserved a number of days for evidence including possible inspections. Counsel for the applicants outlined a program of inspections to be conducted on the first two sets of dates previously set aside - 6 to 10 September and 13 to 16 September 2010. The applicants do not intend that evidence should be led on the inspections and transcript will not be taken. No objections were made to the proposals. We have left it to counsel for the applicants to finalise the program in discussions with relevant parties. The use to be made of the other hearing days will be finalised in due course.

[5] Given the magnitude of the case and in particular the volume of the evidentiary material, we would be assisted by the provision of final submissions in written form. We shall consider a timetable for filing final submissions at a later stage.

[6] Given the unavoidable uncertainty created by the election to be held on 21 August 2010, we make it clear that any interested party may make application for a further directions hearing should unforeseen developments warrant reconsideration of the program.


Instead of Direction 2 made on 27 April 2010 we direct that:

1. The Australian Government, the Australian Council of Trade Unions and any other party supporting the application file in Fair Work Australia:

by 16 September 2010.

2. All remaining parties file in Fair Work Australia:

by 23 September 2010.

3. The applicants file any statements of evidence in reply or any other material in reply in Fair Work Australia by 4 October 2010.


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