Statement by Chief Executive Officer Steve Knott AM, Australian Resources & Energy Employer Association:
The Australian Resources and Energy Employer Association (AREEA) supports senators Jacqui Lambie and David Pocock’s splitting of the “Closing Loopholes” Bill to fast-track worker protections that are uncontentious and broadly supported.
AREEA’s submission to the current senate inquiry called for several elements to be separated and passed promptly.
These include measures relating to family and domestic violence leave, PTSD, asbestos management and small business redundancy exemptions.
They should never have been included in a massive omnibus bill alongside radical, highly contentious proposals that have been subject to overwhelming business opposition.
The senators’ four private bills that would give immediate effect to protections in these areas are a sensible approach which places the lives and livelihoods of Australians beyond politics.
AREEA will continue to strongly advocate on behalf of its resources and energy members – covering mining, oil and gas and all types of service contractors to the sector – on the more substantive elements of the Closing Loopholes Bill.
AREEA is most concerned with the proposed labour hire laws and the lack of a clear exemption for specialist service contractors which form the lifeblood of the resources and energy industry’s supply chain.