Thursday, 14 February 2019
In lieu of suspending standing orders, I seek leave to make a short statement.
Leave not granted.
Pursuant to contingent notice, I move:
That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the motion being moved immediately and determined without amendment or debate.
I refer to the previous motion, general business notice of motion No. 1388. As the matter is currently before the courts, it is not appropriate for the Senate to deal with these issues by formal motion. The FEG scheme is intended to be a safety net and it remains the responsibility of all employers to properly pay their workers' entitlements. We note that the Fair Entitlement Guarantee scheme paid over $66 million to 759 employees retrenched from Queensland Nickel, the largest FEG payment ever made. The Department of Jobs and Small Business is funding a special purpose liquidator to pursue legal claims against Mr Palmer and others, seeking to recover more than $200 million, with a trial set for July this year. The government has recently introduced important legislation to strengthen the recovery of FEG payments and deter improper reliance on FEG and the Australian taxpayers to meet the obligations owed to employees.