In 2017, the Australian government announced its intention to introduce a new legislation in 2018 requiring organisations to disclose their exposure to modern slavery risks in their supply chain and operations, as well as their approach to managing those risks.
If passed, Vicinity will be required to comply with this legislation. We remain a strong supporter of the bill, having signed a joint letter indicating our support to the Prime Minister, and are committed to ensuring that we work with our industry and supply chain partners to address modern slavery and leverage our position to influence positive outcomes.
During FY18, Vicinity formed an internal working group comprising representatives from Compliance, Legal, Risk, National Procurement and Sustainability to better understand the implications of the proposed legislation and lead the development of a response plan. The group, as a first priority, identified the need to understand the inherent risk of modern slavery in our supply chain.
We conducted a high-level assessment of inherent sustainability risks in our supply chain, including human rights and modern slavery (detailed above). The assessment identified a number priority supplier categories for further investigation as part of our continued future program on addressing modern slavery and broader sustainability risks in our supply chain. These included sourcing of products and services associated with our development projects, as well as security, marketing goods and cleaning categories, which will be key focus for Vicinity moving forward.
Externally, Vicinity has been an active contributor to the Property Council of Australia’s Sustainability Roundtable, which is currently working to develop and implement an industry specific platform for capturing supplier information on modern slavery and broader sustainability practices, to drive efficiencies and ensure a consistent industry-wide approach.