Following 13 years of Labor government at the Federal level a Liberal/National Party Coalition government was elected to office in the Australian general election of 1996. This government was subsequently re-elected in 1998, 2001, and again in 2004, before finally losing power in the 2007 Federal election. Industrial relations and labour law policy were critical aspects of the Coalition’s political and social platform throughout its entire period of office and in pursuance of these policies the government introduced many significant changes to employment relations legislation. These were more than changes of detail, representing fundamental shifts in the distribution of power between the parties to employment relations, and in the means of determining terms and conditions of employment.

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