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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 1 Hansard (15 February) . .

Page.. 308..


you consider that, through such organisations as the Sydney Catholic schools, Catholic Care Sydney, the Australian Catholic University, St Vincent's Health, there is a lot of money spent in relation to purchasing of goods in the Sydney area and the Catholic Church can have significant impacts on supply chains.

The recommendations also include to develop guidelines for purchasing goods and services for parishes and church agencies; to equip the lay faithful to make ethical purchasing decisions consistent with the archdiocese's anti-slavery chain regime; to conduct anti-slavery education initiatives in schools, parishes, universities and through church agencies; to develop an anti-slavery media and communications strategy; to investigate the provision of needs-based services for survivors of modern slavery in Australia; to seek to influence decision-makers in Catholic dioceses and religious institutions, education, health and aged care, welfare and finance to adopt the same principles—remembering that Sydney is an archdiocese unto itself and has no influence anywhere else—and to lobby civic leaders, leaders of other churches and faiths, leaders in business and other wider community groups to join the campaign.

These are the main recommendations. I would like to congratulate Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP for his leadership and commitment in this matter and the great work that has been done by the task force. The task force is very willing to share its experiences with anyone who is willing to listen to them and speak to them. I would recommend their report to anyone who is interested in this space.

Youth employment—workplace obligations

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Community Services and Social Inclusion, Minister for Disability, Children and Youth, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations) (4.33): I rise to speak against the ongoing exploitation and mistreatment of young people in the workplace, which is sadly all too common. I was nothing short of appalled to read the outcomes of the Fair Work Ombudsman's recent blitz on Canberra businesses which was prompted by complaints from young workers. In its south Canberra and region blitz the ombudsman audited 52 businesses in Phillip, Weston, Woden, Holder and Queanbeyan after it had received a high number of requests for help from young workers in these areas.

As a result of this blitz the Fair Work Ombudsman recovered almost $30,000 for employees who had been ripped off. We know that young workers can be vulnerable to unscrupulous employers who prey on their lack of awareness of workplace rights and limited work experience. Shockingly, one-third of the businesses audited were not meeting their workplace obligations—maybe not so shocking in an environment where the federal government actually facilitates the exploitation of vulnerable young workers.

The sad fact is that the federal Liberal government's youth-focused employment initiatives reinforce bad employment practices and fail to provide any pathway to secure employment for young workers. These programs undermine the social security


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