• Media Release

Federal Government taking WA for granted

Once again, the Albanese Government has shown complete disregard for Western Australia’s mining industry and its workers, and the crucial role mining plays in underpinning Australia’s prosperity and economic growth.

Evidence provided to the Senate Committee hearing into the government’s disastrous industrial relations by key Western Australian mining companies earlier this month showed the broad damage the proposed laws would have on the mining sector and the State’s economy.

Their message was simple: If you mess with existing workplace arrangements that are working well and have delivered productive mining businesses and high paying jobs in Western Australia, you will wreak havoc on investment, jobs and the crucial relationship between mining companies, service contractors and small businesses.

Instead of listening to those genuine concerns, Employment Minister Tony Burke today resorted to ridicule in an ABC radio interview, showing a complete lack of awareness of the impacts on the broad mining ecosystem in Western Australia, and future unintended consequences of the changes:

“Some businesses came to the Senate inquiry in Western Australia from the mining sector saying ‘oh this will be a disaster for them’ and when they were asked ‘do you have an enterprise agreement’ they said ‘no’ and then acknowledged it wasn’t going to affect them at all,’’ Mr Burke said on Radio National.

Minister Burke’s suggestion that companies without an EBA in place will not be captured by Same Job, Same Pay is entirely false. As is his assertion that they ‘acknowledged’ they won’t be affected. This is not what those businesses said.

Every business in every sector of the economy is ultimately at risk of being captured.

All it takes for Same Job, Same Pay to be triggered is one EBA within a supply chain, or one future EBA being made anywhere in a “host” business. Minister Burke’s policy is to expand the use of EBAs well beyond current levels.

It is time the Albanese Government began listening to the West Australian mining community, instead of taking it, and the State, for granted.