Workplace Relations

10 August 2023


The gig economy is changing the way we do things in Australia. It has turned our economy on its head. While the convenience that the gig economy has brought is beneficial to many consumers, we always must be asking ourselves: at what price are we willing to pay for this convenience? Because we are seeing across the gig sector Australian workers at times bringing home an hourly rate of less than $10 an hour. There cannot be a single person in Australia who thinks this is acceptable, who thinks this is okay. We have workers in this industry working under unsafe conditions, not paid for the work they do. We have companies circumventing our industrial relations laws—laws which were fought for over many, many decades in this country through blood, sweat and tears. It's not acceptable and we need reform to this sector.

On the weekend, I joined the Transport Workers' Union's Sam McIntosh and Ian Smith in South Australia, many of our members and delegates, workers from the gig economy, truck drivers, taxi drivers, industry representatives, people form across the spectrum of the transport sector calling for reform, saying, 'This is not acceptable that people are paid below the minimum wage. It is not acceptable that people are heading out into what is their workplace unsafe.' The convenience that the gig economy brings to consumers is not going anywhere. That's okay. But what's not okay is for this part of our economy to exist in our industrial relations system, making a mockery of it, making a mockery of the rights workers deserve to have fought for in our industrial relations system. We need reform to the transport sector. We urgently need reform to the gig economy. We won't rest on this side until we deliver it.