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Tuesday, 24 November 2015
Page: 8826


Senator NASH (New South WalesDeputy Leader of The Nationals in the Senate and Minister for Rural Health) (18:23): I would firstly point out that sham contracting is already unlawful under the Fair Work Act and certainly this government is not of a mind to stymie innovation from those wanting to pursue that course. And I can indicate to the chamber that the government does not support this amendment. The suggested amendment is not consistent with the purpose of the bill and is better pursued as amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 and/or A New Tax System (Australian Business Number) Act 1999. Barring international students and working holidaymakers from obtaining an ABN may adversely impact on legitimate employment activities. The Fair Work Ombudsman has existing responsibilities under the Independent Contractors Act 2006 in conjunction with the Fair Work Act 2009 to prevent employers from disguising an employment relationship as an independent contracting arrangement, including for international students and working holidaymakers who may hold an ABN. The Australian Business Register is the responsible administrative entity for ABNs, not the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.