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A group of MEU representatives holding a banner that reads: "Lets close the labour hire loopholes. Same job same pay."


Same Job Same Pay laws hit Parliament

September 4, 2023

Same Job Same Pay laws for labour hire workers are set to be introduced to Federal Parliament on Monday afternoon, 4 September. In the meantime, we’re not taking our foot off the pedal as our campaign roadshow continues.

Industrial Relations Minister Tony Burke has said Same Job Same Pay provisions are included in a package of IR laws to be introduced to the Australia House of Representatives today, focused on ending rorts affecting casuals, gig and labour hire workers.

Minister Burke said that the ‘Close the Loopholes’ Bill was about protecting employment standards ‘that Australia already thought we had’, aiming to criminalise wage theft, set standards in the gig economy and prevent employers using labour hire to undercut enterprise agreements.

‘Where the business has already agreed that this is the productivity value of a particular classification of work … you can’t just go and undercut it,” he said.

The introduction of these laws will be the culmination of years of campaigning, thousands of conversations, dozens of consultation sessions, election campaigns, and most importantly the support of our MEU members across Australia calling for this much needed change in the mining industry and beyond.

The union will continue working productively with the Government and other members of Parliament to support its passage and advocate for a final version of the laws that deliver on its intended purpose to stop employers outsourcing jobs to labour hire purely to cut wages.

This is an important moment in our campaign – but we’ll keep going until the laws pass both houses of Parliament and start lifting wages for labour hire workers. We will keep members updated on the content and progress of these new laws and we encourage you to look out for opportunities to get informed.

In the meantime, our campaign roadshow continues.

Following the success of our campaign launches in the Hunter Valley and Rockhampton, we’ve gone to Brisbane to deliver the message to the politicians, and on to Moranbah in Central Queensland to speak directly to more mineworkers.

ALP National Brisbane Conference

MEU representatives speaking on a panel about Same Job Same Pay at an ALP National Conference fringe event.

Three years ago two Moranbah miners, Simon and Ron, filmed a video talking about the impacts of the labour hire loophole.

Simon is a permanent worker, Ron is a labour hire worker. They do the same job at the same Bowen Basin mine, but as you’ll see in the video, the conditions they work under are very different. Watch the video here. 

Recently, both Ron and Simon attended the ALP National Conference in Brisbane. Together, they stood in front of a room full of politicians and told them that since the video was filmed three years ago nothing has changed.

Ron still doesn’t have job security and despite having decades of experience he still doesn’t get the other basic entitlements available to Simon.

Hunter MP Dan Repacholi and Queensland Senator Nita Green also joined our event and talked about how important the reforms were to mining regions.


Dan Repacholi leading a forum for workers on the Same Job Same Pay laws.

While the Minerals Council continue to hit the airwaves with their bizarre campaign trying to convince Australians their casual workmates are useless bludgers, our campaign roadshow is getting to mining communities and cutting through the BS.

Hunter MP Dan Repacholi recently travelled up to Moranbah in Central Queensland to talk to labour hire workers about Same Job Same Pay and what closing the labour hire loopholes would mean to workers.

Dan, representing the Federal seat of Hunter, said that mining communities such as in the Hunter Valley and Central Queensland were strongly impacted by misuse of labour hire in the industry, and would significantly benefit from Same Job Same Pay laws.

Dan spoke to labour hire mineworkers at the Moranbah Community Workers Club, as well as at Civeo Camp in Coppabella.

Dan said that Same Job Same Pay would help provide certainty and security to mine workers and incentivise mining companies to provide more permanent employment, contributing to the vibrancy of mining communities.

We encourage all workers to follow and support our campaign and follow the journey as the new laws hit the lower house this Monday.

A group of people listening to Dan Repacholi speak on Same Job Same Pay. In the foreground is a member wearing an MEU Queensland May Day tshirt.


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