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Wednesday, 18 March 2015
Page: 2764


Ms CHESTERS (Bendigo) (13:47): It is another day in this place and there has been another breach of temporary work visas, another case of abuse and exploitation of people who are here as guest workers. This time it has been uncovered by the government's favourite union, the CFMEU. What they have discovered are two workplaces. One has eight Filipino workers underpaid, receiving as little as $10 per hour. Six were living in one bedroom and two were living in shipping containers. At another workplace 16 Filipino workers and 13 Chinese workers were paid as little as $4 an hour and made to work seven days a week.

This is what is going on in some of our workplaces under the temporary migration program that we have for overseas workers. This government is not doing the right thing in working with the union to see these companies prosecuted. What this government is doing, instead, is calling in the fair work building commission to call on these organisations to show cause.

They have asked the union, the organisers, to demonstrate how they found out this information. Rather than investigating these abuses, rather than working with the union to stamp out this kind of exploitation, what this government is doing is continuing to bully unions, saying that they are the thugs, they are the ones causing the problems in workplaces—when it is actually the employers. This is the same company that has made a donation to the Liberal Party of $400,000. (Time expired)