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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 1 Hansard (12 February) . . Page.. 264..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

reporting in the interests of a consistent approach within the annual reporting legislative framework. This builds greater consistency in drafting style as well as in references to reporting arrangements. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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

Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Bill 2004

Ms Gallagher , pursuant to order, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by clerk.

MS GALLAGHER (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Women and Minister for Industrial Relations) (10.34): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Bill 2004, which I am introducing today, will establish an enhanced compliance and enforcement framework for workplace safety in the ACT. The new and amended compliance measures in the bill reflect contemporary regulatory requirements in the area of work safety and moves towards national consistency in approaches to compliance and enforcement regulation.

The bill is the culmination of the first phase of a comprehensive review of work safety legislation. The government has been assisted in this review program by the Occupational Health and Safety Council. The council is a tripartite body established under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1989 to provide advice to the government on health and safety in the territory's workplaces.

In August 2003, the council provided the government with a report on the compliance model established in the Occupational Health and Safety Act. In its report, the council said that a:

credible enforcement and compliance framework rests on the following attributes:

a mix of deterrence and persuasion;

an appropriately framed and effective education, advice, promotion and public awareness regime;

a hierarchy of enforcement measures ranging from advice, education and persuasion to increasing serious negative sanctions such as Improvement Notices, Prohibition Notices and finally prosecution;

an innovative mix of compliance mechanisms, including notices of agreed compliance, remedial orders, enforceable undertakings and injunctions; and

appropriate maximum penalties.

The government has accepted the council's recommendations for reform of the compliance provisions in the act. The legislation introduced today will enable employers and employees to work more cooperatively to identify safety risks and develop measures to control and eliminate them; encourage everyone with workplace safety responsibilities to comply with their obligations; empower regulators to work more directly with those

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