As the representative voice for Australian workers, the ACTU represents the interests of the 17% of the workforce who require a licence or registration to undertake their work. We welcome the opportunity to outline our concerns to the NSW parliament as part of this inquiry into enabling legislation for this scheme.

Australian unions, while acknowledging the benefits of such a scheme, have a number of concerns about the proposed AMRS which this legislation enables. These concerns can be broadly categorised as:

  • A lack of a clear rationale for a new scheme.
  • Unclear benefits.
  • The top-down nature of the system.
  • The inability to deal with regional variation.
  • The risk to strong licensing schemes.

While some of these concerns may be able to be addressed through changes to the proposed scheme, we believe some represent insoluble issues in the current Australian context. It is our view that this scheme should not proceed until these issues can be addressed through other, industry-led, mechanisms.