Submissions are now open into Western Australia’s inquiry into ‘wage theft’.

The McGowan Labor Government said the inquiry will examine the incidence and impact of wage theft and make recommendations on strategies to combat the issue.

Tony Beech, former Chief Commissioner of the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission, has been appointed to undertake the inquiry.

The inquiry will look at the current regulatory framework at a state and federal level, and recommend strategies to combat wage theft and assist affected workers through a report will to government by June 2019.

The inquiry will consider:

  • Whether there is evidence of wage theft occurring in Western Australia;
  • The reasons wage theft is occurring;
  • The impact of wage theft on workers, the businesses that are compliant with employment laws, and the Western Australian community and economy;
  • Whether the current State and Federal regulatory framework for dealing with wage theft is effective in combating wage theft and supporting affected workers; and
  • Whether new laws should be introduced in Western Australia to address wage theft, and if so, whether wage theft should be a criminal offence.

Local workers, employers and community organisations are encouraged to comment.

Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston said once the inquiry is complete, the government will carefully consider the findings and the recommendations made.

It follows the Victorian Government proposing up to 10 years jail for employers who deliberately underpay or don’t pay their workers, with the re-elected Andrews Labor Government set to introduce the new legislation making ‘wage theft’ a criminal offence.

AMMA’s position, aligned to that of other employer groups, is that the state legislation is unnecessary given federal laws already comprehensively address the issue.

Wage theft, an emotive union phrase referring to underpayment of wages that is gaining traction in the media, continues to be one of the key advocacy areas of the ACTU leading into the Federal Election.

AMMA invites members to provide comments or feedback via [email protected].

For more information on the inquiry click here. Submissions can be sent to [email protected] and close on March 27, 2019.

Port Hedland’s Roy Hill bridge over rail opens

AMMA congratulates member company Roy Hill for the construction of a new 25-metre bridge over its rail line.

The newly-completed project included a strong focus on local content and Aboriginal participation, with work finished early and on budget.

The project was fully funded by Roy Hill and managed by WA Main Roads, and enables free flow of traffic and freight and improved safety for all motorists using Great Northern Highway.

The $18.66 million contract was funded by Roy Hill and undertaken by Georgiou Pty Ltd under the management of Main Roads Western Australia.

More than 11 per cent of the workforce on the project were local Aboriginal people.

Applications open for Round 19 of EIS co-funded drilling

Renewed industry optimism is expected to be reflected in Round 19 of the Western Australia Government’s Exploration Incentive Scheme’s (EIS) Co-funded Exploration Drilling Program.

The program provides $5 million a year to encourage innovative drilling in greenfields and under-explored areas of the State.

Explorers can receive a refund of up to 50 per cent for innovative drilling projects, with caps of $150,000 (multi-hole project), $200,000 (single deep hole), and $30,000 for prospectors.

There has been a continual rise in applications for funding, with round 18 applications jumping more than 16 per cent to 73 last year. More than 850 projects drilled since EIS began in 2009.

Applications close on April 5, 2019. For more information, click here.