Blackwood Votes For Exploitation Of Vulnerable Workers

Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has joined mobsters’ mate Matthew Guy and his Liberal and National colleagues to abandon some of the state’s most vulnerable workers, opposing ground-breaking Andrews Labor Government legislation to stop exploitation in the Victorian labour hire industry.

Minister for Industrial Relations Natalie Hutchins slammed Gary Blackwood and the Opposition for voting against the Labour Hire Licensing Bill 2017, which will introduce a universal licensing scheme to protect labour hire workers.

The Victorian Inquiry into the Labour Hire Industry and Insecure Work uncovered widespread abuse, exploitation and underpayment of workers across Victoria.

In the debate, Shadow Industrial Relations spokesperson Robert Clark even acknowledged that organised crime has infiltrated the industry – yet they won’t vote to clean it up.

Under the new scheme, labour hire services may only be provided by organisations that hold a licence and be listed on a publicly accessible register.

To obtain a licence, providers will be required to pass “a fit and proper person test” and show compliance with workplace laws, labour hire laws, and minimum accommodation standards.

A licensing inspectorate within the Labour Hire Licensing Authority will monitor and investigate compliance with the scheme, and rogue operators that flout the new rules will be liable for hefty civil and criminal penalties.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Industrial Relations Natalie Hutchins

“True to form, the Victorian Liberals and Nationals are abandoning some of Victoria’s most vulnerable workers.”

“Given Matthew Guy has dinner with alleged mobsters, it’s no surprise he’s trying to protect an industry that even they admit has been infiltrated by organised crime.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“If the Liberals and Nationals actually want to support the many Gippsland employers who are being undercut by dodgy labour hire operations, they need to back these changes, so we can clean up the industry and make things fair and consistent for labour hire workers and business across Victoria.”