History of the Department

1900 Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1900 established the Registrar of Friendly Societies who was the Registrar of Industrial Unions.  The Industrial Registrar serviced the Arbitration and Conciliation Commission and was part of the Crown Law Department

1900 Edgar Theodore Owen appointed as Registrar

1905 Registrar appointed federal Deputy Registrar under Federal Act

1909 Samuel Bennett appointed as Registrar

1922 Union registrations passed from Registrar of Friendly Societies to Clerk of the Court of Arbitration

1922 Francis Edward Walsh appointed as Registrar

1924 Registry functions under Trade Unions Act 1902 passed from Registrar of Friendly Societies to Registrar of Industrial Unions

1939 Reginald Arthur Wood appointed as Registrar

1948 Section 166 of the Industrial Arbitration Act 1912 – 1948 created office of Assistant Registrar

1949 Joseph Hamilton Bogue appointed as Registrar

1960 Serventus Cyril Bruce appointed as Registrar

1963 Amendment separated arbitral and judicial functions by creating Industrial Appeal Court and Industrial Commission with Chief Commissioner and three other Commissioners

1963 Raymond Bowyer appointed as Registrar

1964 Industrial Arbitration Act 1963 transferred the Industrial Registrar from the Crown Law Dept to the Department of Labour and Industry

1965 Industrial Commission moved from Supreme Court buildings to new premises in Murray Street

1971 Roy (Rex) Ellis appointed as Registrar

1977 Federal commission opened Perth office, State Registrar ceased to be Federal Deputy Registrar

1981 Keith Scapin appointed as Registrar

1983 Confirmation from Registrar that Commission could operate efficiently with existing staffing level of 28 if administratively autonomous

1983 Registrar becomes de facto autonomous except for accounting functions, although continued to be part of the Department of Industrial Affairs

1984 Preparation of budget estimates taken over by Registrar

1985 Commission’s establishment moved under the Department of Employment of Training but still remained on a defacto autonomous footing

1985 Registrar took over registry functions for Promotion Appeals, Railways Classification Board, Public Service Arbitrator and Government School Teachers Tribunal

1986 Registrar took over accounting system from Department of Occupational Health and the Registrar became the Accountable officer

1987 John G Carrigg appointed as Registrar

1989 Department of the Registrar established with Registrar as CEO

1995 Commission relocated from Supply House in Hay Street, to 111 St George’s Terrace

1997 John Spurling appointed as Registrar

1999 Began providing Registry services for the Australian Industrial Registry

2002 Began registration process for Employer – Employee Agreements

2003 Deputy Registrars given specific authority to mediate in unfair dismissal claims

2004 Occupational and Safety Health Tribunal established within the Commission

2006 Federal industrial relations legislation enacted to significantly encroach on state jurisdiction

2007 Australian Industrial Registry re-established in Perth and WA Registrar ceases providing registry services for the Federal Commission

2008 Road Freight Tribunal established within the Commission

2008 Employment Dispute Resolution Act 2008

2011 The Department commenced hosting the Blaxell Inquiry, St Andrews Hostel Inquiry

2011 Retirement of Registrar, John Spurling.  Susan Bastian appointed as Acting Registrar

2013 The Department commenced hosting the City of Canning Inquiry

2013 Refurbishment of the Commission's hearing and conference facilities, providing a state of the art fully integrated digital court environment

2014 Susan Bastian appointed as Registrar

2014 The Department hosted proceedings for the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse

2014 The Department hosted proceedings for the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption

2014 Probono scheme introduced by the Chief Commissioner and the Registrar


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Department of the Registrar
Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission
17th Floor
111 St Georges Terrace


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(08) 9420 4444
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1800 624 263
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