AGM and Dinner with Peter Costello


Join the HR Nicholls Society on February 8th for dinner and drinks with former Treasurer Peter Costello at the Trust, Melbourne.

Mr Costello will be discussing the current state of industrial relations, his time as Treasurer and the future of reform in Australian politics.

The event includes a three course meal and three hour drinks package.

Tickets $120 for non-members, $110 for HR Nicholls members and $95 for students.

6:45 for a 7pm start

Purchase tickets here –

MEDIA RELEASE: Abolition of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal

The H.R. Nicholls Society supports and welcomes the Prime Minister’s pledge to abolish the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.

The Tribunal’s most recent order increasing the mandatory rates owner-operator truck drivers are required to charge threatens to push prices up by between 15 and 30 per cent and drive 35,000 self-employed truck drivers out of business.

H.R. Nicholls Society’s President, Adam Bisits, said:

The tribunal’s order makes it illegal for self-employed drivers to compete on cost with larger employees. It means trucking becomes an industry where winners and losers are picked based on what type of business they are, not who can offer customers the best service.

“An internationally competitive, efficient and reliable trucking industry is vital to Australia’s prosperity. Pricing owner-operators out of the market won’t just kill jobs and cause higher prices through less competition. It risks the further monopolisation of the industry by the Transport workers Union, in turn leaving major sectors of the economy vulnerable to industrial action.

“The H.R. Nicholls Society believes that the best way to guarantee Australia has a competitive trucking industry is the wholesale abolition of all regulations that inhibit market forces, particularly price and wage fixing arrangements. Only then will all businesses be able to compete freely based on their relative strengths.”

For Further Information:

Adam Bisits
President, HR Nicholls Society
0438 405 527


Son of Labor-voting unionists calls for curbs on labour market intervention

From Workplace Express($):

A former HR Nicholls Society officeholder has used his first speech in the Senate to declare that it is a duty to remove every obstacle to work.

James Paterson, previously a staffer at the free market Institute of Public Affairs, said in the speech yesterday that every intervention in the labour market that made it more difficult to get and keep a job should be avoided at all costs.

“We must make it as easy and cheap as possible to employ people, so that anyone who wants to work is able to,” he told the Senate yesterday.

“The most important reason why we must reform our welfare and industrial relations systems is not that it is good for the budget bottom line or the economy.

“We must do it because it is good for people.”

Click HERE to keep reading (paywall protected)

Another HR Nicholls Society member for parliament!

Media Release
March 6, 2016
Another HR Nicholls Society member for parliament
James Paterson preselected for Senate
The HR Nicholls Society congratulates member James Paterson on his preselection by the Liberal Party today for the no 1 Senate position for Victoria.  James was a member of the board of the society in 2011-13.
The society stands for freedom to work and freedom to hire, for internationally competitive terms of employment and for the dismantling of the rorted Australian industrial relations system.  Significantly two senators who represent popular opinion outside party politics, Bob Day (South Australia, a former member and board member of the society) and David Leyonhjelm (New South Wales) support these principles.
The Society welcomes James as a future senator for Victoria who will be able to advocate for these principles within his party and in parliament.
For Further Information
Adam Bisits
President, HR Nicholls Society
0438 405 527

Media Release: ABCC Delay Unacceptable

The H.R. Nicholls Society says it is utterly dismayed by the Turnbull Government’s decision to delay the passage of legislation to re-establish the Australian Building and Construction Commission.
As Australia’s leading proponent of people’s right to work free from union interference and intimidation, the Society says the Government’s decision is a betrayal of both its own supporters and of workers.
The President of the HR Nicholls Society, Adam Bisits says, “The Heydon Royal Commission established by this Government was absolutely vital in uncovering a raft of corrupt behavior – not only by unions, but equally by weak companies and company mangers who sell out their own workers by paying off unions in ill-advised attempts to buy industrial peace.”
“Independent anti-corruption bodies, such as the ABCC, are absolutely vital in exposing this sort of cynical collusion, and making sure that workers are protected from the manipulation of their interests by both company management and unions” says Mr Bisits.
“In delaying the re-establishment of the ABCC, the Government is sending a signal to big unions and big business that it tacitly approves of sleazy deals which harm the interests of working people, and entrench the power of the old-style industrial relations cartels that have no place in a modern economy” says Mr Bisits.

Employment Opportunity

Executive Director

About the HR Nicholls Society

Australia, a century ago, was the richest country in the world in per capita terms. In the 21st century, however, we face the prospect of continuing economic decline and a further reduction in our standards of living. A major factor in our economic decline and increasingly gloomy economic future, are our outmoded, straight-jacketing, economically debilitating industrial relations institutions.

The HR Nicholls Society was incorporated in 1986 with the purpose of increasing public knowledge and debate about these issues. The Society’s ambition is to bring about urgently needed reform, in our industrial relations attitudes and institutions, through the processes of debate and argument. Our aims are:

  • To promote discussion about the operation of industrial relations in Australia, including the system of determining wages and other conditions of employment; and
  • To support the reform of Australian industrial relations with the aim of promoting the rule of law in respect of employers and employee organisations alike, the right of individuals to freely contract for the supply and engagement of their labour by mutual agreement, and the necessity for labour relations to be conducted in such a way as to promote economic development in Australia.

Overview of the Position

The Executive Director is responsible for implementing and developing plans, leading projects, and working with collaborators to achieve the Society’s mission of advancing the deregulation of the Australian labour market as a policy goal with widespread public support

The Executive Director manages day-to-day operations; maintaining the Society’s social media presence and website, raising funds, garnering support for the Society’s position on the labour market, coordinating contractors and volunteers, managing finances, networking with collaborators, and representing the Society’s interests in public forums. Read more

Has anybody here seen Labor’s Bobby?

When it comes to tackling union corruption, Bill Shorten should take a leaf out of the Kennedy playbook.

Seven weeks after the release of the final report of the Royal Commission Into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, there is no evidence that the Labor Party is about to see the light. That report gave the lie to the claim that corruption within Australia’s union movement is limited to ‘a few bad apples’. Indeed, if there is not already an apposite collective noun for ‘bad apples’, then ‘union’ might be a worthy contender…

(First published in The Spectator Australia, 20 Febraury 2016)

Royal commission report: Build support for real reform of whole union system

HR Nicholls Society President Adam Bisits writing in the Australian Financial Review:

It is not enough to sense that industrial relations in Australia should change. You need the facts to warrant change. We now have from last week’s report by the Trade Union (Heydon) Royal Commission (TURC) the facts warranting change in one segment of IR, namely the financial and administrative organisation of unions. Recommendations include that oversight be moved from the Fair Work Commission to a more independent and better resourced body, for freedom of choice of superannuation fund, for the building industry regulator to be continued and augmented with compulsory investigatory powers and – incredibly for this traditional right of union officials – that they be trained in “right of entry”.

The need for facts before you act in IR was demonstrated by the Gyles royal commission of 1990 and the Cole royal commission of 2001 into building industry thuggery, both of which led to more serious enforcement of industrial relations in construction, including in 2005 by the Australian Building and Construction Commission.

The folly of not ascertaining the facts is demonstrated by both the Work Choices and Fair Work regimes, neither of which was preceded by any analysis of existing defects or of costs and benefits of regimes proposed, which would have brought public opinion on side. In fact in January 2005 a letter organised by the HR Nicholls Society urged then prime minister John Howard to hold a wide-ranging inquiry into the labour market and the reforms required. The government’s response was that it knew what it was doing!

Former prime minister Tony Abbott correctly acted on the need for facts as to trade union governance and corruption and this has resulted in the TURC report, which his successor has said will be studied and implemented.

However the report on the rest of the IR system, Workplace Relations Framework Final Report, by the Productivity Commission (PC), (released on December 21) has received only limited government support.

Will the report bring public opinion on side? It seems doubtful. At 1173 pages, eight times the length of TURC’s, the PC’s report is impossibly long, certainly for workers and employers. Read more