Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 2 Hansard (8 March) . . Page.. 443..
MR GENTLEMAN (continuing):
the pork-barrelling involving the expenditure of millions of dollars in marginal electorates by the federal government.
Mr Mulcahy mentioned the OWS. I have been informed that OWS inspections of Canberra workplaces took place, on all occasions, after complaints had been made. But the point of this motion is to prevent exploitation.
We only need to think of Samuel Kautai to know that the current system does not work. Yesterday in my adjournment speech, I spoke about Samuel Kautai, a migrant worker who was abused by his employer, for the privilege of $56 a month. That is another example of a skilled migrant worker who has suffered at the hands of his employer. Could things have been different had DIMIA been required to monitor the working environment and the contract of Samuel, we do not know. Samuel's story is a tragedy, but the federal government has the opportunity now to right this wrong.
There are employers in the country that will do anything to increase their profits. They will force workers to become contractors. Some employers, not most, have seen skilled migrant working visas as a means of employing migrant workers on substantially lower pay than the award. We have heard of workers who are forced to live with their employers, of workers who were told, essentially, that they were bought and paid for. If we stand idly by and allow such conditions to continue, we will be saying that we support the creation of an exploited class. These workers are too scared in most instances to speak up for fear of deportation. They should not have to speak up. The system should speak up for them.
This motion puts the onus back on the federal government to ensure that the contracts binding DIMIA, the employer and the skilled migrant worker are adhered to. This motion calls on the federal government to do the right thing by the workers who have taken up the opportunity to fill our skill shortages. I urge the Assembly to support the motion.
Motion agreed to.
Road Transport (Alcohol and Drugs) (Random Drug Testing) Amendment Bill 2005
Debate resumed from 14 December 2005, on motion by Mr Pratt:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella-Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (11.56): I thank Mr Pratt for bringing forward this private members bill. Other Australian jurisdictions have varying positions on random roadside drug testing. Differing arrangements are in place in two jurisdictions, Victoria and Tasmania. South Australian and New South Wales have their own-again differing-plans to introduce testing, while Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland have no proposals at this stage.