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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 8 Hansard (15 August) . . Page.. 2965 ..


I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Work Health and Safety Amendment Bill 2019

Ms Stephen-Smith, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Children, Youth and Families, Minister for Disability, Minister for Employment and Workplace Safety, Minister for Health and Minister for Urban Renewal) (10.14): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Today I am pleased to present the Work Health and Safety Amendment Bill 2019, which makes amendments to the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

This government is committed to continually improving the health and safety of Canberra's workers. That is why, in May 2018, we announced an independent review of the ACT's work health and safety compliance infrastructure. The review was conducted by Claire Noone of the Nous Group, an expert in the field of work health and safety compliance. Her mandate was to evaluate the appropriateness and effectiveness of our work health and safety compliance and enforcement infrastructure and strategies.

The review was finalised in August 2018, and its final report included 27 recommendations about how we could act to make WorkSafe ACT a more effective work health and safety regulator.

As the Assembly may recall, last October I presented the final report of the review and indicated the government's in-principle support for all recommendations. One of the review's findings was that there is an opportunity to improve the regulator's governance model by making legislative changes to the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. This bill will make those legislative changes.

Making use of the OECD best practice principles for regulatory policy, the review considered two features to be critical in the governance design of WorkSafe. These were role clarity and independence. A number of governance structure models were identified, and ultimately the review concluded that a single accountability governance model would best achieve role clarity and independence for the territory's work health and safety regulator.


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