Professor Allan Fels has urged the federal government to implement the recommendations of the Migrant Workers’ Taskforce, which he chaired. The Taskforce was set up in the wake of the 7-Eleven scandal.
The government accepted all 22 recommendations made by the taskforce in 2019, but it has yet to take any legislation action.
Professor Fels says the exploitation of migrant workers has worsened since the taskforce released its final report. The taskforce’s recommendations included criminal penalties for employers who engage in the deliberate and systemic underpayment of migrant workers.
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From The Australian:
“The problems especially regarding migrant farm workers have got worse since the report,” Professor Fels said. “It’s time to enact this legislation, promised before the last election … every day that passes, bad behaviour continues and spreads wider, making the law enforcement task more difficult every day,” he said…
Professor Fels said criminal sanctions would send “a clear signal to unscrupulous employers that exploitation of migrant workers is unacceptable, and the consequences of doing so can be severe”…
Professor Fels said the government must stick to its firm commitment, made before and after the last election, to implement all the recommendations. “We need stronger enforcement powers; nothing has changed,” he said…
Last week, The Australian revealed that not a single prosecution had been launched by the FWO against any “approved employer in the Seasonal Worker Program” – usually labour hire companies – in the past four years.
It seems the Morrison Government finds an excuse to delay every substantive reform.
For 15 years, global anti-money laundering rules have been placed in to ‘too hard’ basket, making Australian property a magnet for dirty money.
Despite promising a federal anti-corruption commission last election, the Morrison Government is stonewalling.
The recommendations of the Hayne Banking Royal Commission were swept under the rug.
And now the Morrison Government has delayed implementing migrant worker protections and instead is seeking to fuel further exploitation via its dubious Agricultural Visas.
When it comes to the Coalition, always back ‘businomics’ and corruption.
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