Deal to pass toxic labour hire attack a major blow for WA

A deal with the Senate crossbench to pass parts of the Federal Government’s Closing Loopholes Bill will damage WA’s mining sector and undermine the future of our state’s economy.

The deal allows the toxic attack on labour hire to pass through Parliament today, before a Senate Committee inquiry has had the opportunity to hand down its findings.

CCIWA Chief Executive, Chris Rodwell, said WA had the most to lose from the deal.

“This attack on the mining sector will ricochet right through the WA economy, at a time when households are grappling with a cost-of-living crisis,” he said.

“The mining industry accounts for 45 per cent of WA’s economy and directly supports tens of thousands of well-paid jobs in our state, plus many more along the supply chain.

“Mining, and other critical sectors like agriculture, rely on labour hire for legitimate operational reasons. The flow-on impact of that for our economy will be significant.

“By rushing this change through Parliament, the Federal Government has shown a fundamental lack of understanding of the Western Australian economy.”

Mr Rodwell said the labour hire changes were unjustified and indiscriminate.

“Mining companies, farmers and others who use labour hire aren’t trying to rort workers. They use Labour hire to fill gaps in seasonal operations and deal with commodity swings,”

“The Closing Loopholes Bill is nothing more than a wish list from union bosses, at the expense of West Australian businesses and the economy.”

CCIWA is also concerned that the supposed “carve out” for service contractors does not guarantee those vital services will be protected from these changes.

Mr Rodwell said the changes will damage Australia’s reputation and send investment dollars overseas.

“Australia is in a race for global capital to develop new industries in clean energy, critical minerals and emerging technologies,” he said.

“We sorely need an agenda that drives higher productivity, not one that sends it backwards.”

CCIWA remains deeply concerned about the remaining elements of the Bill, including changes to casual employment and union right-of-entry, which will go before Parliament again in 2024.

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