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JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT: Employer groups slam Government actions which will hit Australians with cost.

Joint statement from:

Business Council of Australia Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Australian Energy Producers Australian Industry Group

Australian Retailers Association Council of Small Business Organisations Australia Master Builders Australia Minerals Council of Australia National Farmers Federation Recruitment, Consulting and Staffing Association

Restaurant and Catering Industry Association

7 December 2023

Higher costs of living and job losses will be the consequence of rushed major workplace relations changes pushed through the Parliament today, according to Australia’s major employer organisations.

The Government has railroaded Senate process today to avoid scrutiny and debate on their radical labour hire changes and vast union powers.

They have broken their election commitment to be consultative.

There are over 40 new changes to the labour hire legislation alone, which have not been debated or scrutinised by the Senate Committee inquiry.

The Government is shattering business confidence and investment at a time of economic uncertainty.

Included within today’s Closing Loopholes Bill are significant increases to union powers in the workplace, which will be a multi-million dollar gift to unions.

It will expand union delegates’ powers in workplaces and provide union delegates with uncapped training, funded by their employers and subject to union whim.

It is extremely disappointing that genuinely positive reforms, such as supporting the care of first responders, have been used as a smokescreen for handing unions more power.

In addition, the changes to labour hire, also rushed through, will increase costs and complexity for business.

This will hit many small businesses and drive up prices, risk jobs and comes at a time when there are already many pressures on the economy.

While employers had supported particular elements of the Bill being considered separately, today’s rushed passage without adequate debate and cherry-picking other elements will have major consequences for businesses and their workforce.

We have always said that we welcome the opportunity to work constructively with the Government in addressing real issues, however throughout this process it has failed to identify the clear problems it seeks to resolve.

We urge the Government to genuinely engage on the key issues posed by changes to the gig economy, casuals, and the potential impact on independent contractors in the new year.

Media contact details:

BCA – Ben Wicks E: P: (02) 8224 9214

ACCI – Ashley Gardiner E: M: 0413 584 532

AEP – Patrick Lion E: M: 0435 113 224

AI GROUP - Tony Melville E: M: 0419 190 347

COSBOA – Luke Achterstraat E: M: 0433 644 097

MBA – Dee Zegarac E: M: 0400 493 071

MCA – Kate Schulze E: M: 0467 613 121

NFF – Charles Thomas E: M: 0437 962 209

RCSA – Brooke Lord E: P: (03) 9663 0555

ARA – Rowan Forster E: M: 0434 381 670

For more information about COSBOA, visit:

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact COSBOA on or call (+61) 433 644 097

Luke Achterstraat

Chief Executive Officer



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