Barrister and solicitor Damian Matthews and head of the Employment Law Centre of Western Australia Toni Emmanuel have been appointed as commissioners of the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission.
Commerce Minister Michael Mischin said the pair had a wealth of experience in industrial relations matters and would further enhance the commission's standing as the State's independent industrial umpire.
"Ms Emmanuel has headed up the not-for-profit Employment Law Centre of Western Australia for the past nine years, while Mr Matthews has been a barrister and solicitor at the State Solicitor's Office for 23 years," Mr Mischin said.
"Ms Emmanuel has spent most of her legal career tirelessly helping vulnerable employees in a wide range of employment matters.
"Mr Matthews has worked for both Liberal and Labor governments over the years and has proven his professionalism and impartiality in many complex matters.
"The appointments demonstrate the State Government's commitment to ensuring the commission is able to deliver the sort of service West Australians are entitled to expect."
The Minister said the commission was well respected and played an important role in maintaining harmonious industrial relations in WA, particularly in the public sector. Its role has become more complex over the years.
With a public sector workforce of about 138,000 employees, it is inevitable that disputes will arise. It is in everybody's interests to have a strong independent body to prevent and settle these disputes, balancing the competing interests of the parties dispassionately, and with professionalism and objectivity," he said.
The appointments were made after expressions of interest were advertised for the roles and fill the vacancies left by the resignations of commissioners Jennifer Harrison and Stephanie Mayman last year.
The Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission is an independent quasi-judicial tribunal. The commission's primary objectives are to prevent and settle industrial disputes in WA by conciliation and arbitration if necessary
The commission also sits as the Road Freight Transport Industry Tribunal and the Occupational Safety and Health Tribunal
With the appointments of Ms Emmanuel and Mr Matthews to the commission, there will be five commissioners (to conciliate and arbitrate disputes) and one acting president (to chair appeals)
Minister's office - 6552 5600