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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 February 2018) . . Page.. 530 ..

I have a very good track record of referring constituents to the workplace ombudsman and then getting recompense through the workplace ombudsman’s process. But reflecting on what the minister has said and what Mr Pettersson has said, there are people in business in the ACT who exploit their workers. There is no debate about that; there is no debate about that. It is a given and it is not a thing that anyone in this place would support. I actively encourage young people who are underpaid to go to the Fair Work Ombudsman. The ones that I have referred usually have had a good result.

I argue a little with the assertion put forward by Ms Cody. It is not expensive for them. It is at no cost to them except for their time and their effort. They tend to have to be good record keepers, but the Fair Work Ombudsman works very well in this space. It is because of their diligence that we see these return visits to the Fair Work Ombudsman, especially in the hospitality space in the ACT, which I think should be a matter of concern for us all.

I thank Mr Rattenbury and Ms Le Couteur for raising ethical procurement and supply chain issues to ensure that we have a slavery-free supply chain. I will give Ms Cody and the government the benefit of the doubt that when they talk about government procurement delivering high levels of ethical and labour standards, this is a catch-all for that very expression.

As members would know, in the previous Assembly, when I was the Speaker, we took steps to do what we could to ensure that supply chains in the Legislative Assembly were slavery free. This is extraordinarily difficult to do in a vacuum without widescale support. It became increasingly difficult for us to ensure that everything we procured in the context of the building works that were done here during the last term of the Assembly was slavery free.

When we look at our iPads, we see the heavy metals—the cadmium and the like—that are in them. We know that there are people who work in slave-like conditions to produce the rare metals that go into our electronic devices. The risk is that every time we purchase something, we are purchasing it from a supply chain that is compromised.

I have spoken about this on a number of occasions. I made representations to the recently concluded inquiry run in the commonwealth parliament in relation to the modern slavery legislation. I note the bipartisan support in the federal parliament for the implementation of modern slavery legislation to build on the work that has already been done quite effectively in the United Kingdom, but more can be done.

I spoke in the adjournment debate last week in relation to the work that has been done by the Sydney archdiocese to ensure that their supply chains are slavery free. There are lots of implications for, and hard work that needs to be done by, the archdiocese, but they have taken a leadership role in this. I think they are an example to other large employers. I will be speaking on this matter to the Catholic Archbishop of Canberra, because the archdiocese of Canberra, through its schools and hospitals indirectly, is again one of the largest employers in the ACT, and it has considerable buying power.

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