Mutual Recognition (Victoria) Amendment Bill 2021 | Bill

Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan) (15:56): I rise to speak in support of the Mutual Recognition (Victoria) Amendment Bill 2021. It is an important bill for Victorian workers and businesses, particularly those who want to work or expand interstate. There are more than 800 different licences when it comes to manual trades. That encompasses many people and many workers. This bill is an absolute win for workers who depend on a licence. This new reform will cut significant red tape. It will allow a uniform scheme across our nation for automatic mutual recognition. In the last years our government has removed a lot of needless regulatory burden. It will also help many Victorians get qualified through the free TAFE initiative. Many people across Western Metropolitan Region have changed their profession or re-skilled through free TAFE, and through this bill those people can get more opportunities.

Automatic mutual recognition makes it easier for workers with an occupational licence to move around the country to take up a new job and take advantage of business opportunities. Automatic mutual recognition does this by automatically registering licensed workers to work in any other state or territory under the authority of their home state licence. Provided workers comply with certain conditions, they will no longer be required to obtain a second licence or registration to undertake activities they are already licensed for. It will make it easier for workers to move interstate and take up jobs and opportunities that suit them the best.

Workers benefiting from automatic mutual recognition can only undertake the activities they are licensed for in their home state and must comply with all local laws of the state they are working in. As long as the workers comply with certain conditions, they do not have to keep accumulating licences for work they are already licensed for. Under the current system an interstate regulator has to issue workers a second licence or register them again. This can cost the workers registration fees or new licence fees. This bill removes the hurdle to labour mobility. The exception to this is where a home state does not licence an activity but the state the worker wants to work in does. In this situation that person will need to obtain a licence in the second state before they commence working in the second state.

Victorians will be able to get significant benefits from this bill. Automatic mutual recognition will make it easier for workers to take up job opportunities as the economy recovers. The Victorian government has a stellar record when it comes to removing unnecessary red tape and reducing regulatory burden. This system is administered by Better Regulation Victoria. Victorians will have greater flexibility and it will give them a fair go.

The Andrews Labor government is making sure that we create better and stronger communities that have the best opportunities they can get through improving and implementing their skills. This is a great piece of legislation. It is a straightforward bill. This bill brings crucial fundamental changes. I commend the bill to the house.