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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 2 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 310..


MR SPEAKER: Essentially, Mr Gentleman, you are stuck with paragraphs 1 and 3, unless you have other incidents.

Mrs Dunne: And you are a bit constrained on paragraph 1 as well, because of the standing orders.

MR SPEAKER: You just cannot use the matter which is the subject of paragraph 2; you cannot dwell on that.

MR GENTLEMAN: Mr Speaker, I am concerned about the possible breaches to the Australian building and construction code, and those have occurred at a work site here in the ACT, from the information given to me. Those breaches occurred where a gentleman working at a work site—not the gentleman we have talked about, previously mentioned—

Mrs Dunne: One of his cousins, was it?

MR GENTLEMAN: No, it is not his cousin, Mrs Dunne. The gentleman was working at a construction company here in the ACT on 8 February and was injured at the site. The worker, under instruction, had lifted a cover in a penetration and fell through a void, causing him to descend about one metre into ducting that was being installed. It was a terrible accident that resulted in an injury. However, the injury would have been far worse perhaps—and even fatal—if it had not been for this ducting which prevented him from falling another six to nine metres. The fact that this occurred demonstrates a lack of concern by employers for their workers by not ensuring that proper safety precautions had been taken.

It is less than 12 months, of course, since another worker was killed by falling through a penetration at another work site in Civic. No family should ever have to worry about whether or not their loved ones will walk back in the door at the end of the working day. Worker safety is a prerogative of management and this responsibility should be upheld at all times.

The following day after this event, on 9 February at 6.00 am, the worker attended that site and complained to a first aid officer that he was not feeling well and indicated that he would like to see a doctor. The worker was directed to speak to his supervisor and inform him of the circumstances. However—

Mrs Dunne: Mr Speaker, I am sorry but I think this again is going into the case that is before the industrial relations commission.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Gentleman, you just cannot refer to a case that can be likened to one which is before the commission. Otherwise, we end up in a situation where evidence that may well come before the commission as a result of the matter which has been listed could be in some way tainted by deliberations in this chamber and I just cannot permit that to happen, because either party could be disadvantaged by discussions in this place. So I would ask you again not to in any way refer to a case which is parallel to a case which is before a judicial body, because plainly that is a matter on which I have decided. It is pretty easy to draw the conclusion that we are


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