The Prime Minister is reviving an old battle over industrial relations. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has promised the mining sector he will again attempt to legislate six-year, greenfields workplace agreements with guaranteed annual pay increases if the Coalition wins the upcoming federal election. 

Mr Morrison also pledged to re-introduce legislation for ‘one-touch approvals’ for major projects under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act.

Greenfield agreements are workplace deals extending beyond the three to four years of a standard workplace agreement, typically covering the life of a project.

There are often complaints from employers when agreements expire mid-project. They want to prevent workers from accessing protected industrial action to pressure employers for wages and conditions after a project has begun.

Attempted industrial relations reforms last year proposed six-year agreements for projects of $500 million and more, but failed. 

Mr Morrison said this week; “If re-elected, the Coalition will introduce legislation to extend the maximum term of greenfields agreements from four to six years”, again only on projects valued above $500 million.

In an attempt to head off union outrage, the PM said such agreements would include legislated annual pay increases.