Australia: Modern Slavery bill passed by New South Wales state Parliament

A private member's bill has been passed by the New South Wales state Parliament which includes mandatory reporting on modern slavery by companies.

The NSW bill differs from the proposed federal Modern Slavery Act in several key ways:

  • a lower threshold for reporting applies under the NSW bill - AUD$50 million total annual turnover, compared with AUD$100 million under the federal proposals;
  • penalties apply for failure to prepare a modern slavery statement;
  • penalties apply for failing to make a modern slavery statement public in accordance with the regulations;
  • penalties apply for knowingly providing false and misleading information in a modern slavery statement; and
  • it provides for the appointment of a state-level independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner. 

Documents and transcripts accessible here

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Autor(a): John Sandeman, Eternity News

"Modern Slavery law passed", 21 June 2018

With the backing of Premier Gladys Berejiklian, the Modern Slavery bill 2018 has passed the NSW Parliament. The Public Service and private companies (with a turnover of [AUD]$50 million) can be required to slave-proof their supply lines and an Anti-Slavery Commissioner will be appointed to monitor compliance, and educate the public...

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Autor(a): Lisa Visentin, The Sydney Morning Herald

4 June 2018

...Christian Democrat MP Paul Green, who has championed his Modern Slavery Bill as "historic", said he would wield the party's balance-of-power position as a bargaining chip.

Mr Green...is concerned the government will use amendments to significantly change the bill....

...[T]he bill...proposes to create an independent anti‑slavery commissioner who will oversee a plan to combat human trafficking and slavery-like practices in NSW.

It also proposes mandatory reporting requirements on commercial organisations aimed at slavery-proofing supply chains, and creates new offences for cyber-sex trafficking and child-forced labour.

...NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has agreed to introduce the bill into the lower house.

...[T]he government has prepared a suite of amendments.

Mr Green said amendments..."basically remove the skeleton of the bill".

"I wouldn't be happy to put forward a shell of a bill," he said. "We've sent comment to the Premier that we would like the bill to proceed without amendment."

A government source said the amendments were designed to address concerns about the constitutionality of the bill.

 

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