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Thursday, 1 December 2022
Page: 2688

Senator BARBARA POCOCK (South Australia) (10:43): Thanks, Minister, for your explanations there. Senator Cash has implied there's some kind of inappropriate or nefarious discussion or negotiation underway and that that's somehow illegitimate. I want to reassure people at home who are watching that, since coming here as a senator less than six months ago, I've seen nothing but discussion, compromise, negotiation and often improvement in things; there's nothing untoward about it. Anyone who wants to know what values or issues the Greens took into those discussions with the government can look on our website. There's nothing secret about what we did. Our vote increased at the last election because people want an end to things like pay secrecy. They want a group of senators in here who are making sure that those low-paid retail and hospitality workers don't fall through the bottom of the BOOT. I think it's very important we have been in discussions to improve the test, making sure those young employees who are very powerless are protected. Our sole focus has been on those protections in relation to the BOOT. We've sought to preserve the essential elements of the BOOT, so that new workers, or foreseeable working conditions, don't move workers backwards.

I want to follow that statement with a question to the minister. You've clarified the questions of 'reasonably foreseeable circumstances' and the way in which the BOOT will operate to protect those low-income workers, many of whom are young. I wonder if you could say a little about the reconsideration process and how that will work to also make sure that those workers—young workers, low-paid workers—don't fall through.