Immigration and Border Protection

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March 07, 2019

For more than five years, the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has done nothing to help put workers first.

Today’s release of the Migrant Workers’ Taskforce report, in the shadow of an election, is nothing more than a fig leaf to hide the complete lack of action or plan to address the exploitation of vulnerable workers for over five years.

This short-sighted Liberal Government fails to recognise that exploitation affects both migrant and Australian workers. They have made no effort to focus on the rip offs by dodgy employers impacting on local Australian workers, which further erodes wages and disadvantages employers that do the right thing.

While the Morrison Government sits idly by, wage rip offs have flourished and the reality is that, because the Liberals are running a part-time parliament, there is no genuine opportunity for these recommendations to be legislated before the next election.

It’s an abysmal response from a divided and chaotic Government that is far more focussed on securing their own jobs than the security of all vulnerable workers – both migrant and Australian workers alike.

Only Labor is serious about protecting vulnerable workers in Australia from exploitation. We took a number of reforms to the last election and will continue to outline policies in the lead up to the coming election.

Labor will introduce very significant civil penalties, particularly against big companies, for intentional systemic underpayment, along with a comprehensive labour hire regulation scheme to ensure those workers are paid the same as directly employed staff doing the same job.

Scott Morrison doesn’t have a single policy to grow wages or to reduce exploitation and inequality. 

Australians deserve more.