The Federal Government’s promise to amend its widely panned industrial relations reforms “fall desperately short of a workable solution”, the boss of the nation’s peak resources lobby group has warned. In some of the most damning comments to come out of the industrial relations reform debate, Minerals Council of Australia CEO Tania Constable told The West Australian on Tuesday reports the Albanese Government was prepared to make a major concession for service contractors was an attempt to “hoodwink the Parliament and the public”. The Australian Resources and Energy Employer Association said on Tuesday it had struck a deal with Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke to specifically exempt service contractors from the Closing Loopholes Bill - a key argument against the laws. While AREEA celebrated the deal, Ms Constable was quick to dismiss the announcement, claiming contractors would still have to litigate their way out. “Any amendment that does not include a complete removal of service contractors from being exposed to Same Job, Same Pay, and a proper definition of ‘labour hire’ would merely be tinkering at the edges,” she told The West Australian. Ms Constable slammed the bill and its “complex and confusing” 12-point test that is supposed to help service contractors figure out how they will be treated by the proposed laws. “Tinkering with the test doesn’t alter the fact that all service contractors will still be captured till they can litigate their way out, at great cost to themselves,” she said. Ms Constable said the bill offered “nothing” to service contractors who would be unable to litigate themselves out of the legislation. “Unfortunately, this is the modus operandi of Minister Burke: Find a soft target, get them to support your amendments sight unseen, and then pretend that the problem has been solved,” she said. “No one should be fooled by such tactics. No one should take the bait, simply to be seen as taking credit for striking a deal. We have already seen such absurdity in regards to proposed amendments on Casual workers.” Her comments come after AREEA chief executive Steve Knott spoke to The Australian on Tuesday, commending Mr Burke “for responding to our members’ concerns that the government’s labour-hire proposals could potentially impact the broader resources and energy sector”. “This is the guarantee AREEA has fought long and hard for on behalf of the Australian resources and energy industry,” Mr Knott said. “With the government committed to passing its Bill into law, protecting the resources and energy sector supply chain has been the overwhelming priority for AREEA and its broad national membership.” ARREA’s members include Fortescue, Woodside, ExxonMobil and Chevron. Mr Burke told The Australian that AREEA’s amendments made it explicitly clear service contractors should not be covered by the new legislation. “These amendments will put it beyond doubt,” he said. “We will end up with better legislation as a result of the constructive engagement and industrial expertise that AREEA has brought to the table.” “The only reason left for opposing the government’s actions on the labour-hire loophole is because employers want to continue underpaying people.” The deal is the third Mr Burke has made to save the Government’s signature industrial relation reforms, which have come under fire from employer groups, including the Minerals Council. Mr Knott said the “improvements to the bill come after months of constructive talks” with Mr Burke. “AREEA’s century-long expertise in industrial relations was pivotal in consultations with government as we brought forward a compelling case to carve out specialist service contractors from the proposed labour hire legislative reforms,” Mr Knott said. “These negotiations have been complex, extensive and not without challenges. That said, AREEA and Minister Burke have engaged in such consultations in good faith.” The status of contractors had become the major flashpoint in the bitter fight between the Albanese Government and mining industry over the contentious Closing Loopholes Bill. In June, an AREEA-led delegation of contractors pitched a compromise to Mr Burke that involved using a multi-factor test to help the Fair Work Commission determine if a business was a contractor or labour hire. Mr Burke was receptive to the idea and incorporated a test into the draft bill. But writing last month in The West Australian, Mr Knott said the way the Government had done so was “completely unworkable”. While the amendments are set to make the passage of laws smoother, it is understood the Minerals Council, which had committed $24 million to campaign against the bill, will maintain its opposition.