Page 3168 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 18 October 2022

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Madam Speaker, I am deeply concerned that this is the second collapse that we have seen recently; the other in August in Woden. WorkSafe ACT will continue to work with Access Canberra and all builders and developers in Canberra to ensure that they guarantee site safety, with extra consideration being given to the risks resulting from the recent extreme weather.

The dangers in Canberra’s residential construction industry are widely known. As a result, WorkSafe has focused a large amount of its resources on Operation Safe Prospect, which targets residential construction in both greenfield and brownfield areas across Canberra. This operation has resulted in more than 920 workplace inspections for non-compliance and safety issues. During 2021-22, 199 prohibition notices were issued across the ACT primarily for a failure to manage the risks of falls from heights. There is still a great deal of work to do to ensure that construction sites are safe places to work.

The collapse of the shoring wall at the construction site in Dickson last week is a timely reminder that we must strengthen regulations in the construction sector. Minister Cheyne has outlined the actions she and Access Canberra have taken including more resources and regulation. It is also true of WorkSafe ACT where the ACT government has increased resources and put more inspectors on the job. Both Access Canberra and WorkSafe play a vital role in educating industry participants, responding to incidents, and holding employers to account.

Work to strengthen regulations has also occurred through our unit title reforms. This has provided increased transparency for buyers. Notwithstanding steps being taken across various portfolios we continue to have developers who act as if they are above the law. While we have strong regulations and regulators who can respond when issues occur, we need to do much more to stop dodgy developers and curtail the harm they cause.

So, Madam Speaker, developer and trades licensing is a crucial step in our pathway to ensuring every worker comes home safe at the end of their day. We need developer and trades licencing sooner rather than later to ensure that incidents like this do not occur into the future. I am committed to doing what I can to ensure this important reform is delivered. Thank you.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Appropriation Bill 2022-2023

[Cognate bill:

Appropriation (Office of the Legislative Assembly) Bill 2022-2023]

Cognate papers:

Estimates 2022-2023—Select Committee report

Estimates 2022-2023—Select Committee report—government response]

Detail stage

Schedule 1—Appropriations—Proposed expenditure.

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