One of the world's largest organisations for managing responsible sourcing in supply chains has opened a new office in Australia, in a move that means it will be able to help companies comply with expected new legislation to crack down on modern slavery.

Ethical audit platform Sedex has opened its new facility in Sydney and has named Michael Bradley as head of office Australia. The investment builds on Sedex's strategy to grow its membership in Australasia, and support companies to operate ethically and sustainably throughout each tier of the supply chain.

It also comes as Australia is expected to pass a Modern Slavery Act this year to tackle the risk of forced labour in supply chains and protect people vulnerable from enslavement.

"Our experience working with the Modern Day Slavery Act 2015 in the UK has positioned us to support Australian companies as the Australian legislation progresses," explains Dan Murray, head of client services at Sedex UK.

Countries including the UK, the US, France, and the Netherlands, as well as the European Union (EU), have already strengthened national laws on modern slavery, and the Australian government is expected to introduce its Modern Slavery Act to parliament by mid-2018.

The legislation would require all companies operating in Australia with revenues of at least AUD100m (US$75m) to report annually on their efforts to address modern slavery in their operations and supply chains.