MR PALLAS (Werribee—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industrial Relations) (14:26):

It gives me great pleasure to rise to address the house and to update you on the outstanding success of the Andrews Labor government’s portable long service leave scheme.

Today I had the great pleasure to celebrate a milestone: over 200 000 workers have been signed up to this scheme since it came into operation in 2019, ensuring that some of our most vulnerable workers in the cleaning, the security and the community sectors have access to the entitlement of long service leave that other workers in this state have come to take for granted.

As the Premier said, these workers are heroes. They have kept us safe and secure during this pandemic, and they need the recognition and reward that this entitlement provides them.

The scheme gives workers the opportunity to accumulate long service leave entitlements even as they move between employers. Now, significantly, two-thirds of these workers are women, and they have been over-represented for far too long in low-paid jobs with limited long-term security.

Let us not forget that those opposite voted against this legislation to establish the scheme in 2018. If they had had their way, these workers would have not been able to access this important entitlement—workers like Cameron, who had multiple cleaning roles and currently works as a cleaner at Flinders Street station. And Thealas, a security guard who had nine different employers over nine years in the industry, told the media today that when his long service leave entitlement vests over six years he will be able to take that as a deposit to buy his first home.

So this initiative speaks volumes for the government’s respect for workers who have kept us safe during this difficult time, and it is nothing short of what they deserve.