ACT Senator David Pocock and Employment Minister Tony Burke made a public display of unity on Wednesday night, as they both fronted up to a Canberra audience.
The minister was a special guest at Senator Pocock's Gungahlin College town hall meeting, where contentious industrial relations reforms were debated.
The fate of the employment law bill reforms, which would allow multi-employer bargaining, are in Senator Pocock's hands. His vote is needed in the Senate for them to pass.
Speaking at the town hall, Mr Burke praised the senator, calling him "calm" and "responsible".
The minister said the pair had had many "decent, professional conversations".
But while Senator Pocock said he supported "85 to 90 per cent" of the bill, he hasn't backed down on waiting for a senate review to finish before agreeing to the more contentious reforms.
"It's been a short timeline to get across a bill of this size," he said.
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Senator Pocock said even the best reforms could have "unintended consequences".
Minister Burke said he wants the reforms to pass soon, so workers wouldn't have to wait to start industrial action.
"I reckon 10 years is enough, I want to get this done," he said.
Mr Burke fronted the National Press Club on Wednesday afternoon to defend his reform bill.
The opposition and business groups say the changes give unions too much power and will lead to strikes and chaos.
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