MAY DAY: Queensland union members march at the Labour Day Parade in Brisbane on Monday.
MAY DAY: Queensland union members march at the Labour Day Parade in Brisbane on Monday. DAVE HUNT

Labour hire sector to need licence

QUEENSLAND Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced her government will reform the labour hire sector.

At a Labour Day rally in Brisbane yesterday, she said labour hire companies would need a licence to operate.

"My government will ensure that the practice of dodgy labour hire companies is no more in Queensland," she said.

"Enough is enough. We are absolutely sick and tired of workers being ripped off."

Ms Palaszczuk said she would introduce legislation this month to reform the labour hire sector.

"This is a big issue across Queensland, make no mistake," she said.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said a "fit and proper person test" would be introduced for the sector.

"There has been too much evidence of exploitation with labour hire companies," she said.

Labour hire companies would be required to pay all their workers entitlements such as superannuation or be deregistered.

Queensland Council of Unions general secretary Ros McLennan welcomed the increased regulation, saying it was necessary to stamp out "rogue operators" engaging in "massive wage theft from vulnerable workers".

"We've heard shocking stories of workers on labour hire arrangements being underpaid thousands and thousands of dollars, and it's got to stop," she said.

"Malcolm Turnbull and the LNP have had ample opportunity to clean up the industry through licensing but they won't act."

Ms Palaszczuk also reiterated her criticism of the Prime Minister at the Labour Day march in Brisbane, after she publicly slammed him on Sunday, calling him arrogant, disres- pectful and a worse prime minister than Tony Abbott.

On that occasion she said her frustration started to mount after Cyclone Debbie and reached a tipping point after comments made by Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce over Category C disaster relief funding.

She also accused Mr Turnbull of failing to show respect when he flew to Queensland recently for a major gas announcement without bothering to tell her.

At yesterday's march she said: "My state was being faced with a natural disaster."

"I was putting the people of this state first and he was putting himself first.

"Then he was sending out his right-hand lieutenant Barnaby Joyce, an ex-Queenslander who turned his back on Queensland, to come here and start arguing about paperwork when families were going through some of the hardest times they've ever had to face."

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