"We start next week," said the minister.
The promise of actual action from Tony Burke almost seemed electric.
Can the Albanese government's jobs and skills summit be true?
Tangible outcomes? Fair Work Act amendments on the way? Chills of hope and optimism, no less, from the Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins? Trilateral unity tickets in industrial relations?
Snubbed by the Liberals as a "talk fest" and derided by Zali Steggall as a Labor "PR stunt", the summit set up to tackle much-neglected workforce challenges - particularly unlocking dinosaur and embarrassing gender disparities - has been embraced as the hottest ticket in Canberra.
The who's who of unions, big and small business, community groups and political leaders had a seat in Parliament House's great hall.
Many wanted to restate problems with the status quo: mainly 30 year old workplace laws which have stayed the same while the economy radically changed.
While seeking the tangible, some summiteers spoke of just wanting respect.
Women, older workers, disabled workers and culturally-diverse people untapped, under-utilised in the hundreds of thousands and often made to feel unsafe or unfairly treated. Young workers paid by age, not skill.
But doors have opened to many in ways they haven't in the past because the unemployment rate has a three in front of it. The Grattan Institute's Danielle Wood insists a stronger labour market will, over time, translate to higher pay for all workers.
The picture for women - and in particular the broken childcare and parental leave system - could be the "biggest lever to pull" according to Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, to increase productivity and get Australia moving.
The rise of heavily feminised services and care jobs have long been ignored.
"I can't help reflect that if untapped women's workforce participation was a massive iron ore deposit, we would have governments falling over themselves to give subsidies to get it out of the ground," Ms Wood said with the Prime Minister and major miners Rio Tinto, BHP and Fortescue present.
The gender pay gap is stubbornly not closing and it stands at 14 per cent.
The gender divide is especially stark in the electrical trades. Women make up two per cent of the workforce, yet they have been desperate for workers for 20 years.
What a waste.
"If only we had an entire gender from which to draw from to help fill the gap?" mused Michael Wright from Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union, while noting the few women in that workforce would be unlikely to get their own bathrooms.
There is a strong element at the jobs and skills summit or relitigating problems and arguments, of being heard. And not everyone had a seat at the great hall's table.
Employment Minister Tony Burke has promised "immediate action" to change to the Fair Work Act, listing possible stronger protections and emphasising flexible working arrangements - to open up what can be bargained about. There will be a new national forum to address the male dominated and highly stressed construction industry with Kate Jenkins assisting with gender issues. And this is all feeding into the Employment White Paper.
Australia's workforce problems seem huge, urgent and also an opportunity.
The Labor government must be held to account to act or the summit will just be another eyerolling talkfest. It is all about who turns up and follows through. The Liberal party would be in a better position to criticise had it bothered to turn up.
All appearances are given of a new spirit of cooperation and it's been acknowledged through the summit that Australia's workplace system is outdated and unfair. Who's up for a challenge?