The Financial Services Council (FSC) has effectively asked the president of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) Justice Iain Ross, to formally declare whether the FWC will be proceeding to deal with selection of default funds in the absence of the requisite number of expert panel members.
In a letter directed to the FWC's president yesterday, the FSC's lawyers have asked whether, in circumstances where Justice Ross has asked the Minister for Employment, Senator Eric Abetz, to quickly appoint a replacement member to the expert panel, the FWC will be proceeding with the issue in the interim.
The letter asks, "whether it is the President's intention to direct the Expert Panel not to take any further steps or determine any matter ….. until a new Expert Panel Member has been appointed?"
The letter also asks whether if the President intends to assign the new Expert Panel Member to the Expert Panel it is his intention to remove an existing member of the Expert Panel in order to make way for the new member?
"If so, does the President propose to remove himself, as President, or another existing Panel member?" the FSC Lawyer's letter asked.
The letter has asked for the FWC to clarify the issues on the basis that the FSC's action in the Federal Court is scheduled for hearing on Friday and would influenced by the make-up of the expert panel and Justice Ross' intentions with respect to the panel proceeding to consider default funds in the absence of a new panel member being appointed by the minister.