• Scrapping Hairdresser Act would have lowered standards and safety
  • Collective power triggers swift backdown
  • Historic result prompts AWU to launch nationwide campaign

Hairdressers across NSW have demonstrated their collective power after a 20,000 strong petition launched by Hairdressers Australia succeeded in having the Baird Government abandon its plans to repeal or amend the Hairdressers Act 2003.

Hair Stylists Australia is a new employee group established to represent hairdressers and organise an industry notorious for low wages, poor working conditions and a really bad record on safety. The initiative is supported by the AWU.

Hair Stylist Australia Ambassador, Sydney salon owner Penny Hooper Whitmore said the sudden about face was the right move and congratulated the NSW government for listening to public opinion.

 “Hairdressers deal daily with harsh chemicals that could potentially cause serious damage to a client, not to mention razor sharp scissors. 

"Scrapping the Hairdresser Act would have lowered standards across the board and completely devalued the work hairdressers do.

“People train for many years to learn this trade and for the NSW government to suggest anyone should be able to simply walk in off the street and start cutting hair was ridiculous.”

AWU National Campaign Director Kate Brandreth said the episode proves the power hairdressers had to change their industry for the better. 

“In just about every other state in the country qualification requirements were scrapped because hairdressers didn’t have a body to speak for them. In NSW we have seen this move stopped dead in its tracks because hairdressers stood up and made their voices heard.

“Next step: getting NSW-style qualification requirements re-established across the rest of the country!”

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