Senate debates

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Bills

Treasury Laws Amendment (Working Holiday Maker Employer Register) Bill 2017; In Committee

10:56 am

Photo of Peter Whish-WilsonPeter Whish-Wilson (Tasmania, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

I'll read it again for the chamber. The minister wasn't here during my second reading speech. Let me read you an extract from the now Prime Minister's—Mr Scott Morrison—second reading speech. He stated:

The register will be made public, with a list of registered employers published on the ABN Lookup, making it easy for working holiday-makers and others to check the registration status of a potential employer.

Just to refresh the memory of the chamber—and you weren't here, Minister Seselja—the critical reason for this is: if you don't register, then the businesses that aren't registered have to extract 32½c in a dollar from their foreign workers. The registered businesses are 15 per cent, plus they're registered to give more of the superannuation of these foreign workers back to them to go in their pocket when they continue their holiday or when they leave this country and continue their holiday.

Minister Seselja, did the now Prime Minister mislead parliament when he said this was going to be made public, knowing that it would never be made public, or is there another reason this register hasn't been made public, as was set out in the legislation that the Senate voted on? Let's not underestimate how important this vote was at the end of the day for your government to get this deal done, let alone the importance for foreign workers to give them any protections we could and, of course, to give the certainty that we needed for agricultural employers in this country to get on with business and support agriculture and exports.

Bill agreed to.

Bill reported without amendments; report adopted.

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