AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL PARTY NEWS
|Nationals MPs join push for labour hire firms to be regulated|
A PUSH to regulate labour hire firms has two Nationals MPs siding with the Victorian Labor Government.
Federal MP for Mallee Andrew Broad and Victorian MP for Mildura Peter Crisp have called for labour hire firms to be regulated in a bid to stop overseas worker exploitation.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has pledged to create a licensing system for labour hire companies so only accredited operators can provide third-party labour.
A government inquiry into rogue labour hire companies, insecure work, sham contracting and the abuse of visas to avoid workplace laws held its first public hearings last week in Mildura.
Mr Crisp said in his submission to the inquiry he was “supporting some form of regulation of labour hire contractors”, which he believed should be handled by the Federal Government
“I support registration ... (which) should be displayed and made available to workers,” he said.
Victorian Nationals leader Peter Walsh said labour hire regulation was a federal matter, but “it is important that people who work for labour hire contractors are treated fairly”.
Mr Broad will meet Federal Employment Minister Michaelia Cash to put forward his proposal that labour hire firms “should be very regulated” and “pass the good character test”.
This comes after Mr Broad became involved in the cases of eight Fijian workers on the Federal Government’s seasonal worker scheme, who claimed underpayment and mistreatment on a Euston farm.
It is understood the workers returned to work this week, after walking off the job last month unhappy at the conditions provided by their labour hire host employer PlantGrowPick.
Fiji’s most senior diplomat in Australia has also become involved in the case.
Canberra-based Fijian High Commissioner Yogesh Punja planned to visit the workers near Robinvale this week, after working with the host employer to resolve the issues.
Mr Punja said while some “teething issues” remained, they had “taken one step closer and all workers have returned to the farm”.
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