Labour Hire Authority removes drug trafficker from labour hire industry

20 August 2021
Labour Hire Authority removes drug trafficker from labour hire industry August 2021

The Labour Hire Authority (LHA) has refused a labour hire licence application by Amatak Labour Services Pty Ltd.

The LHA reviewed the labour hire licence application and found that Amatak sole director, Nico Keat, has been convicted of a serious indictable offence and was therefore not a fit and proper person to participate in operating a labour hire business.

Mr Keat was found guilty of 12 offences relating to drug trafficking, theft, failure to answer bail, and suspected proceeds of crime and stolen goods.

To maintain a labour hire licence all relevant people to the licence, such as company directors, must pass the fit and proper person test prescribed by the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018, which includes not being found guilty of certain offences and breaches.

The LHA and the fit and proper person test prevent those who have been found guilty of certain types of criminal offences – including serious offences involving fraud, dishonesty or drug trafficking – from operating a labour hire business.

The Springvale South-based provider was supplying workers to industries including horticulture and was known to provide labour hire services in the Yarra Valley region.

Unlicensed labour hire providers must not provide labour hire services. Individuals and businesses found to have provided labour hire services without holding a licence that is in force face maximum penalties of up to $145,392 for an individual and $581,568 for a corporation.

Host businesses (users of labour hire) must only use licensed labour hire providers or face maximum penalties of $145,392 for individuals and $581,568 for corporations.

The LHA may consider an exemption to the fit and proper test in some circumstances and encourages all applicants to honestly complete their declarations, provide all information up front and assist with enquiries.

If you are aware of mistreated labour hire workers, hosts using unlicensed labour hire providers, or labour hire providers supplying labour hire services without a licence in force please Report a Problem through our website or call 1300 545 200.

To be notified when a provider's licence changes, sign up to Follow my providers SMS and email alerts through our website. To keep up to date on the labour hire licensing scheme you can subscribe to the Labour Hire Authority e-News.

This labour hire licence refusal follows 8 recent refusals in connection with a range of issues including breaches of awards and conditions, and occupational health and safety laws.


Quotes attributable to Labour Hire Licensing Commissioner, Steve Dargavel:

“Drug traffickers have no place running labour hire businesses.”

“The job of the Labour Hire Authority is to make sure that Victorians can have trust and confidence in those who are responsible for the wages and safety of some of the most vulnerable workers in our community.”

“Host businesses can make sure they are using a licensed provider by going to our website and checking our register of licensed labour hire providers, and using our Follow my providers tool to get an alert if a provider’s licence status changes.”



Labour Hire Authority Media: 0448 815 436