Submissions to the NSW Parliament’s Standing Committee on Social Issues on Modern Slavery Act 2018 and associated matters closed on 4 October 2019.

101 submissions were received, including one from me and a few from other law firms. Most were from business groups and/or charity organisations.

Committee hearings started on 4 November 2019, New South Wales [ the first day’s hearing is reported at https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/lcdocs/transcripts/2255/Transcript%20-%204%20November%202019%20-%20UNCORRECTED.pdf ]

Labor MLC Greg Donnelly is reported [ https://au.news.yahoo.com/nsw-govt-walking-back-modern-slavery-law-031602619–spt.html ] to be critical of the NSW government action and suggested that the Government is “walking back” parts of the legislation.

Acting Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Prof Jennifer Burn, replied, to the effect, that some parts of the the NSW legislation, as passed, has been found to be the subject of “significant technical and legal issues” in respect of which some amendments are likely, particularly in respect of the “modern slavery risk orders” provisions.

Professor Burns’ comments are hardly surprising given the many submissions which have been made in respect of the NSW Modern Slavery Act 2018.

Of interest was that one member of the committee asked whether Government should have an education campaign to explain the legislation “because a lot of people have not got a clue?”.

In my view it is exactly because “a lot of people have not got a clue” that the legislation is in what I see has difficulty.

It will indeed be interesting to see what the Standing Committee on Social Issues recommends in respect of the legislation in due course.

I will continue to monitor the Standing Committee activity and post my views on it from time to time.