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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 10 Hansard (23 September) . .

Page.. 3007..


measured. Where a contractor's health and safety performance is found to be lacking, this will affect the ability of that contractor to work for the territory.

The government has also established an exemplar contract management system for use by its project managers who are commissioning construction projects on behalf of the territory. The whole-of-government guidelines will be rolled out across the service in the last quarter of 2014 and will be the benchmark for the management of construction projects commissioned by the government.

I would like to raise the issue of the importance of design in construction. Design is a critical factor in not only ensuring that a structure is safe and suitable for its end use and those who will be undertaking the ongoing maintenance of the structure, but that it is also designed and constructed in such a way as to ensure the safety of those workers undertaking construction.

In late 2013 the Environment and Planning Directorate opened discussion with the construction sector and sought input to improve the accountability for construction design and inspection practitioners, including for engineers. The directorate is engaged in the progress of this review and has held public consultation forums and sought submissions from the industry earlier this year. The directorate will undertake further targeted consultation with technical and professional groups and with the other Australian regulators later in 2014.

The directorate will consider the findings and outcomes of this review and use them to recommend to me provisions to strengthen designer practices in the ACT. The findings will also inform the broader review of the Building Act 2004.

As I have previously identified, the construction industry is number three for workplace fatalities in the country. Commitment by the industry to using the safest design, safest construction methods, safe equipment and support practices is critical to addressing risk for this industry and for its workers.

Construction worksites can change on a daily, if not hourly, basis. New and changing technologies, working at height, mobile and mechanised plant, hazardous substances, multiple contractors and a transient workforce can all impact on risk and the health and safety of construction workers.

The Getting home safely report recognises that a worker's skill to identify hazards and risks is critical to help minimise those risks and that formal construction qualifications and trade skills, on-the-job training and the continued enhancement of these skills are particularly important.

In March of this year the ACT Work Safety Commissioner facilitated an industry forum to discuss and identify educational challenges and training priorities for the industry. The outcomes of this forum will be used to inform the training priorities for the industry into the future. The government is committed to leveraging support through the use of national initiatives. We are consulting with Safe Work Australia with respect to the review of the construction induction card training.


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