House debates

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Questions without Notice

Workplace Relations

2:37 pm

Photo of Clare O'NeilClare O'Neil (Hotham, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Innovation, Technology and the Future of Work) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Industrial Relations. Persa is a pre-press operator who has worked at Ovato's Clayton site for 30 years. Like 300 of her fellow workers, she will be made redundant before Christmas. Persa won't get the money she's owed, and she'll have to wait until next year to receive any funds through the Fair Entitlements Guarantee. Minister, why is your government congratulating itself and using marketing slogans when workers like Persa are left out in the cold by this unscrupulous conduct?

2:38 pm

Photo of Christian PorterChristian Porter (Pearce, Liberal Party, Attorney-General) Share this | | Hansard source

As the member is no doubt aware, that's presently the subject of litigation. Both of the parties in that matter will no doubt make very strong arguments, and I think there are very strong arguments to be made on behalf of the workers that you're speaking to. The Fair Entitlements Guarantee is the established backstop to ensure that, if that litigation does not end the way that the workers from Ovato are arguing that it should, they have a guarantee of those entitlements. Obviously, the government will be keeping a very close eye on that litigation and will be ensuring that entitlements that are not paid through that process are paid through the Fair Entitlements Guarantee, as they usually are, as millions of dollars have been during the COVID pandemic and as will be the case here, depending on how that litigation ends. But we are not a party to that litigation.