This paper presents preliminary findings from a study of light touch labour regulation by State Governments in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. It seeks to contribute to an understanding of how the state seeks to effect normative changes in employment practices and industrial relations in Australia other than through legislation. Part Two of the paper identifies the theoretical approaches that have informed this research. Part Three outlines how the three Australian State
Governments are currently using light touch regulatory techniques to improve labour standards. Part Four provides a very preliminary evaluation of light touch labour regulation in Australia. It assesses the use of light touch regulation by the Australian States against a normative model of responsive regulation. It identifies a number of weaknesses with the current approaches and offers some suggestions for improvement. Suggestions for further research are also considered.