All states have legislation that protects your right to combine breastfeeding and paid work. Australia Federal Sex Discrimination Act 1984 also protects this right. The Federal Sex Discrimination Act 1984 was amended on 24 May 2011 to further strengthen the laws protecting the rights of breastfeeding women. It's now illegal for ANYONE to discriminate against breastfeeding mothers. A key difference with the amendments is that breastfeeding is now a separate, stand-alone ground of discrimination, rather than a subset of sex discrimination.
Under both the Federal and all State legislation it is unlawful to treat a mother unfavourably because she is breastfeeding or to treat a person less favourably based on their status as a parent. So it may be unlawful for an employer to refuse to make accommodations to help an employee mother to breastfeed at work or accommodate an employee’s breastfeeding needs (including expressing).
It's each working mother's responsibility to speak with their employer to work out reasonable break time for breast pumping, also taking into consideration the needs of the organisation and their workplace. The Fair Work Act may also apply in this situation as the right to negotiate flexible working arrangements is one of the protected National Employment Standards in Australia.
Employers are obligated by the above legislation to take reasonable measures to accommodate these needs and must show that what an employee is requesting is 'unreasonable' if they refuse to accommodate these needs.
In relation to the workplace, unfortunately there is no legislation in Australia to give mothers in the paid workforce the legal right to paid breastfeeding breaks as set down by the ILO Convention No. 103.
There is no specific national breastfeeding law in regards to unpaid lactation breaks . Expressing breast milk at work is extremely important to the health of nursing mother and maintaining high milk flow, so any attempt by employers to prevent this could fall under ‘indirect’ discrimination.