Media Release

23 April 2021

NSW Labor is urging the Berejiklian Government to finally implement the NSW Modern Slavery Act after a Sydney couple this week pleaded guilty to charges of conducting forced labour.

Labor Leader in the NSW Legislative Council and Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations Adam Searle MLC said: “This should be a wake-up call for the Premier. Modern slavery is happening in our communities, sometimes under our very noses

“There is no excuse for the Premier not to activate this law, and strike a blow against these barbaric practices.”

After anti-slavery legislation was passed by both houses of the Parliament in 2018 the Premier has consistently failed to bring this law into force even though the Standing Committee on Social Issues recommended that the Act should have commenced on 1 January 2021.

The NSW Modern Slavery Act would require companies with a turnover of more than $50 million to publicly report modern slavery statements, including details of the steps taken to eliminate slavery from supply chains.

Unlike Commonwealth anti-slavery laws, the NSW legislation includes strong compliance measures and a powerful Anti-Slavery Commissioner

The Legislative Council has voted 22-14 to regard a failure to commence the Act by 1 January 2021 as contempt of the House.