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Labor demands strong slavery laws



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CLARE O’NEIL MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR JUSTICE

MEMBER FOR HOTHAM

LABOR DEMANDS STRONG SLAVERY LAWS

Labor is pleased by the news that the Modern Slavery Bill is set to be introduced

into the Parliament today. We have been campaigning for this important reform for

over a year, and we are pleased to see the Government finally taking action on this

important issue.

But we are deeply disappointed at the absence of any penalties for companies that

breach an Australian Modern Slavery Act. We shouldn’t be leaving it to business to

police themselves on slavery.

We are also baffled by the Government’s decision to set up a Business

Engagement Unit to “support businesses”, rather than an Independent Anti-Slavery

Commissioner to help victims. Labor wants an Independent Anti-Slavery

Commissioner so that we can help the estimated thousands of victims of slavery

right here in Australia, right now.

An optional scheme with no oversight is an enormous disappointment. If we want

to tackle slavery, then Australia needs a law that will actually do something to fight

the problem - and that requires penalties and an Independent

Commissioner. Once again, the Liberals have shown themselves as being only for

the top end of town.

Victims of slavery deserve better that the Government’s weak proposal. Labor will

be fighting for penalties and an Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner.

THURSDAY, 28 JUNE 2018

MEDIA CONTACT: ALICE CRAWFORD - 0419 555 635

Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.