Media Release

21 February 2020

In a departure from usual practice, the NSW Labor Opposition has not welcomed the appointment of Commissioner Nichola Constant as the new Chief Commissioner of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission.

“This was an opportunity to appoint a person who is widely regarded as outstanding in the industrial relations community with the depth of skills and experience to lead this important jurisdiction and oversee the delivery of industrial justice to workers and employers in the NSW state system. The Berejiklian Government has failed to take that opportunity” — Adam Searle MLC, Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations

“Before her appointment to the IRC Commissioner Constant was not regarded as someone suitable and appropriate for appointment to this tribunal. Her experience as a Commissioner has not established her as having the credentials to be Chief Commissioner,” Mr Searle said.

“While I recognise the significance of her being the first female head of this jurisdiction, there were many other people who would be widely accepted across the industrial relations community as having the leadership qualities and professional attainments necessary to lead the tribunal.

“The decision of the Berejiklian Government is more readily explicable on party political grounds. This is most regrettable. This commission has a long and proud tradition of having appointees with government, union, employer and legal backgrounds. In the nine years of the Coalition Government, it has appointed to the commission only one person with extensive experience in representing employees” — Adam Searle MLC, Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations

“I wish the new Chief Commissioner and the Tribunal well in undertaking their important role.”