Workplace Relations: Wage Theft

Ms WELLS (Lilley) (13:39): Australians have seen countless examples of employers ripping off their workers in recent years, from 7-Eleven and Domino's Pizza to Chatime and Michael Hill Jewellers—and now, most recently, millionaire celebrity chefs. In my electorate of Lilley, Nundah had the highest reported number of wage theft complaints to the Ombudsman in the last term of the parliament. Since this was first reported on Friday, I have sought clarity on where exactly this is occurring, what Fair Work inspectors have planned in Nundah and whether we will get the same action as the audits carried out in West End. I will also be meeting with the relevant unions to find out why this is so prevalent in my community and what Nundah workers need from this government to fix this issue.

We don't see this third-term government doing too much about it. We don't see legislation to tackle stagnant wages, wage theft or wage exploitation. Instead, they have been focused on going after unions, the organisations on the front line fighting against wage theft. That is like seeing a house on fire and deciding to go in and take apart the smoke alarm. Fortunately, members on this side of the House understand the urgency around wage theft, and as the new member for Lilley I will step up and fight to make things right for workers in Nundah.