Sydney Archdiocese’s Anti-Slavery Taskforce has cautiously welcomed the passing of an amended Modern Slavery Act through the New South Wales Parliament. Source: The Catholic Weekly.
The taskforce has emphasised that it is critical to now ensure the bill is finally implemented on 1 January 2022 after over three years of delays.
The move comes after Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP expressed his disappointment that an original bill, passed by the NSW Parliament in 2018, had been severely weakened.
The original bill committed entities with an annual consolidated revenue of over $50 million to prepare a public modern slavery statement, detailing how they are identifying the risk of modern slavery and human trafficking in their operations and supply chains.
The NSW Government released an amended bill in October which repealed the obligations on entities with the annual turnover of over $50 million, weakened the powers of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner and removed local councils and state-owned corporations from being subjected to the laws.
The final bill, passed by Parliament on November 19, was further amended to ensure that state-owned corporations and local councils had to report on their supply chains, but businesses were still not required to abide by the laws.
Anti-Slavery Taskforce chair John McCarthy said while the passing of the law is a step forward, he is sceptical around whether the government will implement it, based on its past record.
Anti-slavery advocates welcome new laws with caution (By Michael Kenny, The Catholic Weekly)