Morrison Govt spends $421,000 fighting rights for casual miners

CFMEU Mining and Energy

Queensland coal miners will be appalled to discover that the Morrison Government has spent over $400,000 so far fighting a landmark court victory giving rights to exploited casual miners, the Mining Union said today.

While Federal LNP MPs in Queensland have been falsely claiming to have ‘fixed’ the issue, their government is backing big mining and labour hire companies against casuals in the High Court, said CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland President Stephen Smyth.

In Senate Estimates in Canberra today, IR officials said $421,000 had so far been spent on the Federal Government’s intervention in WorkPac’s High Court challenge against the Rossato decision.

The Rossato and prior Skene Federal Court decisions found that casual coal miners in regular hours on long-term advance rosters were not genuine casuals and were therefore entitled to paid leave.

The Federal Government has intervened in the High Court challenge on the side of employers to prevent unlawfully exploited casuals claiming compensation.

“While Scott Morrison loses his mind over $20,000 in watches at Australia Post, his government has so far thrown over $400,000 in taxpayers’ money in court to prevent exploited casual coal miners having more rights,” said Mr Smyth.

“At the same time, the LNP is running around Queensland claiming to have ‘fixed’ this issue, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

“LNP MPs like Matt Canavan, George Christensen and Michelle Landry should be in Canberra pushing the Government to withdraw from this High Court challenge and introduce fair new laws to stop casual exploitation.

“Instead, they are spinning lies to coal miners about permanent jobs. We need them to stand up to the big mining and labour hire companies, not just stand up for the cameras at election time.”

/Public Release.