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Michaelia Cash Claims Industrial Relations Bill will lead to "Chaos and Confusion"

Updated: Nov 28, 2022

Michaelia Cash is a Senator for Western Australia and member of the Liberal Party serving as Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate. Ms. Cash served as both Minister for Industrial Relations and Attorney-General under the Morrison Government. She has recently criticised the Federal Labor Government's new Industrial Relations legislation.

Michaelia Cash foregrounded with the text "Michaelia Cash"

Reaction to Industrial Relations Bill

On Sunday the 27th of November Ms. Cash claimed that the new industrial relations legislation would "compel employers into an agreement" and would lead to "chaos and confusion," as the law would "fundamentally take away the right of the employer and the employee to negotiate terms and conditions."

Ms. Cash also called upon the Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, to listen to Australia's employers:

What you have today is a deal has been struck and the legislation will pass. The employers of Australia, the employers who create the jobs today, remain united. I have one last plea to Mr. Albanese and that is please listen to the job creators in this country. It is going to be a really rough Christmas for so many employers out there.

Ms. Cash stated that she wanted the government to pause on the legislations progress until after the Christmas period to allow further discussion with employers.

A few days earlier Ms. Cash had called for the industrial relations legislation to be "pulled immediately." Ms. Cash claimed that the minister's office responsible did not understand the costings associated with the legislation, with evidence suggesting that the government has used websites such as to assist with the calculation of payroll services:

"This process has now gone from the absurd to absolutely farcical and what it shows is this legislation is not fit or purpose and should be pulled by the government."

Media Adviser Alerts Media to Australian Federal Police Raid of Australian Workers Union Offices

Ms. Cash had repeatedly told a Senate Estimates committee following the raids that both she and her office had not served to alert the media in anyway. However, she later returned to the committee to withdraw her earlier statements after it was revealed that her senior media adviser had confessed to alerting journalists to the raids hours before they took place.

Ms. Cash stated that her staffer had acted without her authorisation and had resigned:

"I was not aware of it at the time and was not aware of it earlier today in [Senate] Estimates. This took place without my knowledge and was not authorised by me...I was not notified of the raids until I watched them unfold on television...My staff member has now resigned."

The AFP released a statement detailing that the raids were on the behalf of the Registered Organisations Commission (ROC) which regulates the associations between unions and employers. The ROC stated that the raids were launched out of concern that evidence could be either concealed or destroyed as part of an ongoing investigation into donations made by the AWU to GetUp! and the Labor Party and whether they were authorised under union rules.

Monitoring of Social Media

In November of 2014, it was revealed that both then-Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison, and Ms. Cash (then-Assistant Immigration Minister), had spent $120,000 collectively in taxpayer funds for the purpose of monitoring the media for mentions of their names, the immigration portfolio, and cabinet colleagues, including then-Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop.

Sources & Further Reading

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