Senate debates

Tuesday, 28 November 2023

Questions without Notice

Workplace Relations

2:43 pm

Photo of Murray WattMurray Watt (Queensland, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) Share this | Hansard source

Thank you, Senator Van, and I have to say: I didn't see you at the Mining and Energy Union Queensland branch 115-year anniversary dinner the other night in Brisbane, but maybe you were there up the back. It was a very good night, I'm sure you will agree, if you were there!

But on a serious note, Senator Van, the rationale for this is as I have explained: that we don't believe—and I don't think most Australians believe—that a company should have the right to enter an enterprise agreement with its workers, negotiated with the union, to pay certain rates and conditions and then be allowed, under the law, to either bring in labour hire workers who are employed by a another entity on lower wages and conditions, or to set up their own in-house labour hire firm, which is what BHP have done.


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