The cost of living for millions of Australians will rise, and the job-creation capacity of businesses will be smothered, under legislation set to pass today.

“This is a sad day for keeping the cost of living low and creating more jobs,” ACCI chief executive Andrew McKellar said.

“The Australian economy and the jobs it creates will be subject to the whims of an increasingly aggressive trade union movement.

“These laws are currently undergoing extensive scrutiny as part of the Senate process. It is difficult to understand why government senators would undermine the proceedings of their own chamber.

“The business community has always supported splitting the bill to deal with measures such as improving worker safety.”

The so-called ‘same job, same pay’ laws will substantially increase red tape for businesses and increase costs for those legitimate labour hire arrangements used to deal with busy times or staff shortages.

“This won’t just impact the mining sector. A range of vital industries rely on labour hire including healthcare, construction, manufacturing and hospitality,” Mr McKellar said.

“These expenses will be ultimately passed on to consumers amid a cost-of-living crisis.”

The radical new laws being snuck through today will also make union delegates the most protected workers in the country.

The ability of workplace delegates to take paid time off or to recruit new members will have stronger protection than a non-union employee’s right to take sick leave.

Businesses will continue to fight against the remainder of the legislation, including the attack on casual employment and interference with the rights of Australians to be their own boss.

“These laws have absolutely nothing to do with safety or ‘closing a loophole’ and were never taken to the Australian people at an election. The only ‘loophole’ these laws seek to close is the abysmally low union membership rates,” Mr McKellar said.

Ashley Gardiner

Director - Media and Communications

P: 0262708020

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