[28 June/ABC News]

New laws introduced to stop modern slavery in Australia and overseas were released in Australian Federal Parliament. The opposition labelled the reforms toothless, but plans to grant them bipartisan support. The laws would mean around 3,000 Australian businesses would need to identify any modern slavery in their supply chain, and report it to authorities. Assistant Minister for Home Affairs, Alex Hawke, said businesses would have to detail what steps they had taken, and would take, to address the risks. A modern slavery business engagement unit costing AUD3.6 million would be set up. Opposition Spokesperson, Claire O’Neil, said the bill was weak as it did not set a penalty for businesses that refused to report on slavery. The United Nations estimated 25 million people were exploited in global supply chains, with about 4,000 of those thought to be in Australia. A recent survey by CIPS found most procurement managers were underprepared for the new government requirements.