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15        Temporary Migration—Select Committee—Appointment

The Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Wong) Leader of the Opposition in the Senate , at the request of Senator Keneally, amended general business notice of motion no. 360 by leave and, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved—

(1)               That the Senate notes:

(a)                   that Australia has the second-largest migrant workforce in the world;

(b)                  that, according to Australian Population Research Institute, almost a fifth of the nation’s cleaners, store packers, and food and hospitality workers are on temporary migrant visas, and the number of migrants on the visas has jumped from 1.8 million to 2.2 million in the past four years;

(c)                   that due to their temporary status and threats of deportation, migrant workers are more often subject to exploitation, wage theft and even physical and sexual abuse; and

(d)                  as the Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Migration, Mr Wood, stated ‘Organised crime and illegitimate labour hire companies are using this loophole to bring out illegal workers who are often vulnerable and open to exploitation. This represents an orchestrated scam that enables these criminal elements to exploit foreign workers in Australia until their claims are finalised’.

(2)              That a select committee, to be known as the Select Committee on Temporary Migration, be established to inquire into and report on the impact temporary migration has on the Australian economy, wages and jobs, social cohesion and workplace rights and conditions, with particular reference to:

(a)                   government policy settings, including their impact on the employment prospects and social cohesion of Australians;

(b)                  the impact of temporary skilled and unskilled migration on Australia’s labour market;

(c)                   policy responses to challenges posed by temporary migration;

(d)                  whether permanent migration offers better long-term benefits for Australia’s economy, Australian workers and social cohesion;

(e)                   the impact of wage theft, breaches of workplace rights and conditions, modern slavery and human trafficking on temporary migrants; and

(f)                    any related matters.

(3)              That the committee present its final report on or before 2 December 2020.

(4)              That the committee consist of five senators, as follows:

(a)                   two nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate;

(b)                  two nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate; and

(c)                   one nominated by minor party and independent senators.

(5)              That:

(a)                   participating members may be appointed to the committee on the nomination of the Leader of the Government in the Senate, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate or any minority party or independent senator; and

(b)                  participating members may participate in hearings of evidence and deliberations of the committee, and have all the rights of members of the committee, but may not vote on any questions before the committee.

(6)              That the committee may proceed to the dispatch of business notwithstanding that not all members have been duly nominated and appointed and notwithstanding any vacancy.

(7)               That the committee elect as chair one of the members nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate and as deputy chair one of the members nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

(8)              That the deputy chair shall act chair when the chair is absent from a meeting of the committee or the position of chair is temporarily vacant.

(9)              That, in the event of an equality of voting, the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, have a casting vote.

(10)           That the committee and any subcommittee have power to send for and examine persons and documents, to move from place to place, to sit in public or in private, notwithstanding any prorogation of the Parliament or dissolution of the House of Representatives, and have leave to report from time to time its proceedings and the evidence taken and such interim recommendations as it may deem fit.

(11)            That the committee have power to appoint subcommittees consisting of 3 or more of its members, and to refer to any such subcommittee any of the matters which the committee is empowered to consider.

(12)           That the committee be provided with all necessary staff, facilities and resources and be empowered to appoint persons with specialist knowledge for the purposes of the committee with the approval of the President of the Senate.

(13)           That the committee be empowered to print from day to day such papers and evidence as may be ordered by it, and a daily Hansard be published of such proceedings as take place in public.

Question put and passed.