Proposed workplace laws will cause pain in every part of WA’s economy

CCIWA Chief Executive

Chris Rodwell

Western Australia is set to be the biggest loser from the Federal Government’s Industrial Relations reforms.

This unnecessary overhaul could not come at a worse time for WA, as the state looks to attract investment and capitalise on a once-in-a-generation opportunity presented by the energy transition.

Just about every element of the Government’s IR agenda strikes at the heart of WA’s economy.

The “same job, same pay” proposal will frustrate any sector that relies on labour hire – and in turn, the many small and medium sized businesses downstream that depend on them.

The mining sector relies heavily on labour hire for legitimate reasons, including swings in commodity cycles.

This is a typical Canberra reform that has no regard for how the WA economy works. It will mean less investment in the WA economy and fewer jobs for our kids and grandkids.

The proposed legislation also seeks to reach into the transport sector. WA relies on efficient freight and transport markets more than any other part of Australia – we are a vast, remote state at the end of global supply chains.

Ultimately, costs will be passed on to consumers as the price of produce, retail goods and construction is driven up.

Changes for workers using digital platforms under the “employee-like” provisions will reach far beyond food delivery drivers. It will have a significant impact on the disability care workers who take care of some of our most vulnerable.

WA’s care sector is already doing it tough – this move will pile on more pain.

The Federal Government has admitted that these changes will mean more red tape for businesses, including food delivery services. That will drive up prices for consumers.

The proposed changes will also create more confusion around casual workers at a time when small businesses in retail and hospitality are grappling with soaring costs.

The sum of these proposed changes – as well as the reforms businesses were hit with late last year like limits to fixed term contracts and multi-employer bargaining – will make investing in WA less attractive.

That means less diversification of the WA economy, and a future with fewer jobs and less opportunities for all West Australians.

Media Contact: Alison Savage / 0400 303 182/ [email protected]

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