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Tuesday, 24 November 2015
Page: 8825

Senator KIM CARR (Victoria) (18:21): I would like to thank Senator Xenophon for his support on that last amendment, because, clearly, he was not party to that arrangement. With that being the case, it does alter the way in which we proceed here. It is a disappointment that these issues of such profound significance to so many people should be treated in this way. I am sure others will be able to speak for themselves about that question. But it does point to the question of whether I call for divisions on each of the tranches of amendments if they are not likely to affect the vote of the chamber. I would be interested to know if anyone has a view on that question. We may well be able to get further advice on that score. It would be very helpful if the crossbenchers, when entering these arrangements, did actually advise the chamber as well. And I will take this opportunity to seek leave to move the third tranche of amendments—amendments (1) and (2), which go to the issue of Australian business numbers.

Leave granted.

Senator KIM CARR: I move opposition amendments (1) and (2) on sheet 7807:

(1) Title, page 1 (line 1), after "Migration Act 1958", insert "and the A New Tax System (Australian Business Number) Act 1999".

(2) Schedule 1, page 3 (before line 3), before the heading specifying Migration Act 1958, insert:

A New Tax System (Australian Business Number) Act 1999

1AA After subsection 8(1)


   (1A) Despite subsection (1), *you are not entitled to have an Australian Business Number (*ABN) if:

      (a) you hold either of the following visas granted under the Migration Act 1958:

         (i) a student visa (within the meaning of that Act);

         (ii) a temporary visa referred to in regulations made under that Act as a Subclass 417 (Working Holiday) visa or a Subclass 462 (Work and Holiday) visa; and

      (b) you were not registered in the *Australian Business Register before the commencement of Schedule 1 to the Migration Amendment (Charging for a Migration Outcome) Act 2015.

And I take it that we are not likely to get any further advice to the chamber from the crossbenchers on these matters. Is that the situation?

The CHAIRMAN: I am looking to the crossbenchers, and if anyone seeks to make a contribution I will give them the call, but—

Senator KIM CARR: Perhaps I could just indicate, while people are thinking on that matter, that the amendments we are proposing prohibit workers who are on student visas or backpacker visas from obtaining an Australian Business Number, or ABN, and therefore prevent them from being employed as contractors or subcontractors. That of course would mean that they would have to be employed directly as employees and receive their full entitlements. In the case of students, prohibiting ABNs would also make it easier for regulators to check that people who are being employed are able to do the work within their visa conditions, which limit work to 20 hours a week. On that, I would commend the proposition to the chamber.