Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash

Shadow Attorney-General

Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

Senator for Western Australia




Australian businesses and their employees have been sold out by the Albanese Labor Government and Senate crossbenchers David Pocock and Jacquie Lambie who teamed up in a dirty deal to pass highly damaging changes to the country’s industrial relations system.

Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Senator Michaelia Cash said: “Today is a devastating day for Australians, with members of the crossbench siding with the Government to pass through highly damaging labour market regulation before it receives scrutiny through the Senate inquiry process.”

“Labor does not have the right priorities, this is a desperate ploy by an embattled Government to distract Australians from the rolling trainwreck that is the released detainees’ crisis,’’ Senator Cash said.

“In the middle of a cost-of-living crisis, the Government’s new labour hire laws will substantially increase the burden and costs imposed on businesses using legitimate labour hire arrangements to meet demand surges or remedy staff shortages. These costs will be ultimately passed on to consumers,’’ Senator Cash said.

“These laws are incompatible with a modern labour market that must be flexible, dynamic, and rewarding for workers,’’ Senator Cash said.

“This will be a devastating blow to the country’s mining and resources sector which is the engine room of our economy,’’ she said.

Over the last decade, mining has contributed trillions in resources export revenue, hundreds of billions in mining wages and accounted for about 21 per cent of Australia’s GDP growth. Mining also supports high-paying, secure jobs especially in regional Australia. The industry pays workers more on average than any other industry in Australia.

“This Government seems to believe those mining jobs aren’t the right kind of secure jobs,’’ Senator Cash said.

“But the mining industry won’t be the only one affected. Other key industries in the Australian economy like, health care, construction, manufacturing and hospitality will also be hit,’’ she said.

Senator Cash said: “The Coalition has always supported parts of the Bill which make sensible changes to our industrial relations framework.”

“We support the parts of the Bill which addresses small business redundancy exemptions, industrial manslaughter, protections against discrimination, wage theft, the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency and first responders PTSD changes,’’ Senator Cash said.

“This Government will try to tell the Australian people we don’t support these elements of the Bill but we have been very clear that we do,’’ she said.

The Coalition will continue to fight against the remaining harmful aspects of Labor’s legislation, including the overhaul of casual employment, the radical empowerment of trade union officials, and deprivation of Australians’ right to be their own boss.

“These new laws will be devastating for the Australia economy. They do nothing to improve productivity in this country,’’ she said.

“Business groups and employers have been clear that the proposed IR changes will smash productivity, investment, and job creation,’’ she said.

“All this Bill is doing is fulfilling the unions’ agenda. Labor is paying back their union paymasters,’’ Senator Cash said.