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PM flags industrial relations bill revival

Labor has promised full consultation with the business community before progressing its industrial relations agenda should it win the May 21 election.

Election campaigning has hit something a lull with a truce between the major parties during the Easter holiday, although Prime Minister Scott Morrison has promised to reintroduce parts of its scrapped industrial relations bill to parliament if re-elected.

The government last year dumped its omnibus bill after failing to secure votes on parts of the legislation.

Provisions to criminalise wage theft and changes to enterprise bargaining were scrapped, as were award simplification and the ability to lock work sites into eight-year pay agreements for major projects.

Liberal frontbencher Jane Hume said there was large amount of consultation that went into those reforms.

“Anthony Albanese and Labor have now come forward with their industrial relations policies which will potentially cost employers billions of dollars,” she told Sky News’ Sunday Agenda program.

She said business groups see these as simply a cost to business.

But deputy opposition leader Richard Marles said Labor was not going to anything without full consultation business community about what can be done and how it might done.

“We do need to understand that we are living in an economy where employment has never been more insecure and more precarious,” he told Sky News.

“We have half a million Australians who are having to work three jobs to make ends meet.”

Mr Morrison told reporters on Saturday his IR bill were the product of getting unions and employers together over countless numbers of hours to come up with practical things that would make the system work better.

“And the Labor Party rejected it.”

It came after Labor promised to legislate a federal anti-corruption commission by the end of the year if they win government.

The proposed commission would have the ability to hold public hearings of politicians, as well as retroactive powers.

Labor leader Albanese said his proposed commission would be kept at arm’s length under his government and wouldn’t be politicised.

“The reason Scott Morrison doesn’t have a national anti-corruption commission is sitting on his front bench,” Mr Albanese said on Saturday.

Mr Morrison is attending a church service in his home seat of Cook on Sunday, while Mr Albanese is attending a service with his shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers in Cairns.

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