2082. Hon Alison Xamon to the minister representing the Minister for Industrial Relations:

I refer to research by Associate Professor Sarah Kaine from UTS Centre for Business and Social Innovation on the role for State Governments in regulating the gig economy, and I ask:

(a)  is the Minister or the department aware of the research in this area;

(b)  if yes to (a), is the Government contemplating undertaking any reform to assist in the regulation of the gig economy; and

(c)  if yes to (b), what is the nature of the proposed reform?

Hon Alannah MacTiernan replied:

(a)  Yes. Staff from the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety attended a presentation by Associate Professor Kaine on her research at the Curtin Business School on 5 April 2019.

(b)  The Ministerial Review of the State Industrial Relations System (the Review) considered whether the State Government could become involved in the regulation of the gig economy by amending industrial relations legislation. The Review concluded that “the legal and constitutional impediments to Western Australia legislating about gig economy workers seem presently insurmountable.”

It is not apparent at this time that any of the initiatives referred to by Associate Professor Kaine in her presentation would overcome the identified limitations on the State Government’s authority to directly legislate with respect to working conditions in the gig economy.

(c)  Not applicable.


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