By Andy Young
The Australian wine industry will continue to highlight industrial relations issues in the second round of submissions to the Productivity Commission hearings into workplace relations reform.
The commission has released a draft report which flags some modest proposed changes to the IR system and the South Australian Wine Industry Association (SAWIA) in collaboration with the Winemakers' Federation of Australia (WFA) have announced they will be going back to the commission with industry feedback.
WFA chief executive Paul Evans said: "The upcoming hearings and the second submission round will give us opportunities to remind the commission and government about the wine industry’s significant contribution to regional economies."
SAWIA chief executive Brian Smedley added that the wine industry welcomed the opportunity to give evidence at the public hearings in September and it would also prepare a second, detailed submission.
"We have identified a range of IR changes that need to be made to get flexibility and balance back into the system to lift productivity and cut red-tape and compliance costs, particularly for many of the small businesses in the wine industry," Smedley said.
"We will continue to highlight industrial relations issues as they apply in the wine industry so they are not overlooked in the review.
"As we highlighted to the commission in our initial submission, we need an industrial relations system that caters for the wine industry’s needs that includes cellar door retail operations through to seasonal fluctuations around harvest and vintage requirements."
The Productivity Commission public hearings will be held from September 4-21 and the commission's final report should be with the Australian Government in November.