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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 9 Hansard (27 September) . . Page.. 2742..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

In finalising the organisational structure of the Office of Regulatory Services, the government has recognised the importance of issues associated with occupational health and safety and has acknowledged the need to retain an independent Occupational Health and Safety Commissioner reporting directly to the minister and the Legislative Assembly.

Under the new arrangements, staff of the Occupational Health and Safety Commissioner's office will be directly responsible to the commissioner and, through the commissioner, to the Minster for Industrial Relations, reinforcing the independence and accountability of the Occupational Health and Safety Commissioner's office.

The Occupational Health and Safety Commissioner will continue to be appointed by the executive, and will remain responsible to the Minister for Industrial Relations for promoting an understanding, acceptance of and compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and associated laws. The commissioner will also undertake research and development of educational programs to promote occupational health and safety principles in the workplace and will review ACT laws to ensure consistency with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and associated legislation.

The Occupational Health and Safety Commissioner will play a critical role in raising awareness within the community of occupational health and safety responsibilities, including responsibilities under new legislation. Retention of the role also demonstrates the importance and priority that this government places on education and promotion of work safety in the territory.

To ensure an appropriate level of transparency and accountability in the work of the Occupational Health and Safety Commissioner, the commissioner will report at six-monthly intervals to the Minister for Industrial Relations, who will table these reports in the Assembly.

Funding for the independent operation of the Occupational Health and Safety Commissioner's office will include additional resources to enable outsourcing of promotional and educational activities, as appropriate. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Mulcahy ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Statute Law Amendment Bill 2007 (No 2)

Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.37): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.


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