Last Monday (4 September) I was in Parliament House, Canberra ‘walking the halls’, knocking on the doors of independent Senators and others. I was handing out an easy-to-read ‘package’ of information on our objections to the ‘employee-like’ laws proposed by the Albanese government. Here’s the handout package.
Around 3pm on Monday, Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke presented to parliament the new IR law called ‘Closing the Loopholes’ Bill. It’s 280 pages long with a 521-page Explanatory Memorandum. It’s a highly complex Bill that wraps multiple industrial relations agendas into a massive piece of legislation. It’s a spaghetti bowl of legislative confusion.
The first thing to note is that this is NOT a law to close loopholes. It is a hugely radical agenda that will change the fundamentals of the Australian economy and how business people, particularly small business people, can operate. Further, it will impact the core of consumer and competition protections and law in Australia. This is a critical aspect that is not receiving any media commentary.
The impacts are so fundamental, far-reaching and complex that we’re not going to rush into our own commentary. First, we’re going to split the Bill into its many agendas so we can understand and address each ‘bit’. This is important because there seem to be many disguised sub-agendas that need to be identified. When we’ve done that, we’ll supply you with our assessments in what we hope will be a logical and digestible way.
Parliament sits next week then takes a four-week break. This gives us time to progressively give you our assessments without overloading you. We’ll be supplying these assessments to the Senators and MPs with whom we’re working. Parliamentary debate on the Bill will become intense in the sitting days 16–26 October.
It’s important to understand that these laws can fail if rejected in the Senate, but it requires nearly all independent Senators to decide to oppose the laws individually. And each independent Senator will form their own view on which aspects they oppose (if they do). We hope that our views and assessments will make sense.
Right to be your own Boss Petition
Don’t forget you can sign the petition to Defend Your Right to be Your Own Boss.
The petition is at this link (scroll down the right-hand side).