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Labour hire targeted by Fair Work taskforce

ON NOTICE: Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt is pleased that the government has announced a multi-agency taskforce aimed at tackling worker exploitation in the agricultural sector.
ON NOTICE: Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt is pleased that the government has announced a multi-agency taskforce aimed at tackling worker exploitation in the agricultural sector. Max Fleet

UNSCRUPULOUS labour hire contractors exploiting foreign workers will be the target of a multi-agency taskforce announced by the Coalition government.

The taskforce will bring together the Immigration Department, Fair Work and Australian Federal Police in a joint team targeting those lining their own pockets at the expense of foreign workers.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said he welcomed the news.

"It's very positive. Indications are today that a task force will be established with the detailed announcement later in the week or early next week," he said.

"I've been working very closely with my colleagues in the ministry including Minister Cash, Minister Keenan and Minister Abetz and of course Queensland Senator Barry O'Sullivan.

"We've been through a reasonably lengthy process in 18 months including round table discussions with key stake holders in the industry, meeting with ministerial advisors, of course the enforcement agents.

"The general consensus from industry is they don't want more legislation, they don't think there's any more need for more red tape or green tape.

"We simply need to enforce the laws that are there.

"The message is pretty straightforward: If you are one of the unscrupulous labour hire contractors - if you are out there exploiting 417 or 416 workers or people who don't have legal work rights in this country - this taskforce is targeting you."

Mr Pitt said while he would leave the details of the announcement up to Assistant Immigration Minister Michaelia Cash, he was pleased the issue had been acknowledged and will now be addressed.

"I understand Immigration and Border Protection has significantly enhanced its investigative abilities in recent months, in preparation for the establishment of the Australian Border Force," he said.

"I will also be asking the minister to establish a hotline or email address so members of the public can lodge allegations with the taskforce."

Until then, allegations and tip-offs can be emailed to

allegations@immi.gov.au.

Topics:  backpackers four corners labour hire working holiday



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