Government must respect Court and Parliament on offshore workers: Bandt

Greens Deputy Leader and Industrial Relations spokesperson Adam Bandt MP responded to the Federal Court’s unanimous decision that the Government has unlawfully tried to circumvent existing legislation in the offshore resources sector by calling on the government to respect the will of the Parliament and the court.

“The umpire has just red-carded the Abbott government for trying flout the law and the Parliament,” said Mr Bandt.

“There is a law in place that requires jobs associated with resource projects in Australian waters to be advertised locally first at local wages and conditions. First the government tried to repeal that law, then when they couldn’t get that through the Senate they made a regulation to circumvent that law, then when the Senate disallowed that regulation they made a declaration that the law didn’t apply and now the Court has said that declaration is unlawful."

“With the Federal Court ruling that the government unlawfully tried to circumvent Parliament by removing protections for workers associated with offshore oil and gas projects in Australian waters, it is clear that workers in this sector are entitled to Australian labour protections.”

“The message for the Abbott government is clear. Stop trying to circumvent the law, stop trying to bypass Parliament and just play by the rules by requiring jobs associated with resource projects in Australian waters to be advertised locally first at local wages and conditions.”

“The Abbott government must stop trying to excise offshore resource projects from Australia’s labour laws and protections.”

“The Abbott government must allow workers and the public purse to share the spoils of the offshore resources boom, instead of trying to drive wages down by circumventing minimum labour standards.”

“The Greens successfully moved to disallow the Minister’s regulation and if the government tries to circumvent Parliament yet again, expect another fight in the Senate.”

Media contact: Adam Pulford, 0429 109 054

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