On 11 November 1996 the Premier of Victoria, Jeff Kennett announced that his government would refer its powers over industrial relations to the Commonwealth. This decision, he said, “reflects the overwhelming consensus among industrial relations experts that a single industrial relations system is both desirable and inevitable”. The announcement was greeted enthusiastically by the proposed recipients: to the Prime Minister, John Howard, it was a “practical example of cooperative Commonwealth/State relations” and “a ringing endorsement of the Federal Government's industrial relations reforms”. The Minister for Industrial Relations, Peter Reith (who was credited with successful negotiation of the intergovernmental agreement on the terms of referral) hailed it as “a major micro-reform initiative.” Media commentary was only marginally less optimistic. It was reported that the other key national players — the ACTU, employers, the federal Opposition and the Democrats — also welcomed the move to a unitary industrial system. Benefits were seen in the elimination of duplication and administrative hurdles, making the state more attractive for overseas investors, and in the provision of an enhanced safety net for Victorian workers. The general theme of the coverage was summed up in the comment that the decision was “a victory for the national interest”.