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


18 September 2023


The Albanese Labor Government’s pathetically thin schedule of public hearings for the Senate inquiry into its industrial relations legislation is a classic sign of a government in disarray trying to avoid scrutiny at all costs.

Shadow Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash said: “Last week the Labor Government cancelled a week of Parliament and now they only want to hold a handful of hearings into their controversial industrial relations laws – it is an absolute disgrace.’’

“What is this Government afraid of? What are they hiding? All we know is that there are many questions but no answers,’’ Senator Cash said.

“This inquiry is so important to the future of this nation it should have at least a dozen hearings. It should be going to more regional areas and listening to the job creators, both big and small,’’ Senator Cash said.

“The Senate voted for a report back date of February 1, 2024 for a reason. That reason was because the Senate believed this Bill needed extended and intense scrutiny,’’ she said.

“The cynical exercise this Government is trying to pull off by truncating hearings is just not good enough,’’ Senator Cash said.

“I implore the Government to work with the Coalition and the crossbench to come up with an acceptable and adequate schedule of public hearings,’’ she said.

“Stop ducking scrutiny. Labor promised transparency before they were elected but are falling hopelessly short of that promise,’’ Senator Cash said.

Below is the schedule of hearings proposed by the Coalition.

Wednesday 21 September – Adelaide; Tuesday 4 October – Sydney; Thursday 6 October – Melbourne; Wednesday 10 October – Brisbane; Thursday 11 October – Gladstone; Monday 20 November – Port Headland/Karratha; Wednesday 22nd November – Perth; Thursday 23rd November – Albany; Friday 1st December – Canberra; Tuesday 12 December – Hunter Valley; Monday 15 January – Launceston; Tuesday 16 January – Hobart; Monday 22 January – Townsville; Wednesday 24 January – Shepparton