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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 September 2011) . . Page.. 4040 ..


worker safety, and we cannot overlook the important role that unions and the right to entry plays in ensuring work safety.

The Chief Minister has already mentioned the asbestos incident at Fyshwick. With this recent scare, my understanding is that the relevant union exercised its right to enter and inspect the site. Its involvement has resulted in a stronger safety outcome where the asbestos must be cleaned up more quickly than first proposed. We do not believe it is satisfactory that inspectors or the regulator are the only ones permitted to enter a workplace. It is not possible for them to do the same job as unions, nor does the regulator have the resources to do the same job. The result of the amendment would undoubtedly be a significant reduction in inspection, oversight, worker consultation and worker safety.

In response to some of the concerns raised by Mrs Dunne, I point out, as the government has noted in its response to the scrutiny committee on this issue, that there are a number of rigorous safeguards and limitations in the provisions, particularly in relation to permit holders. Amongst these are the requirements that the permit holder must give notice, can only enter in working hours in relevant areas of the workplace, and the regulator is able to impose conditions on permit holders.

Question put:

That part 7 (including clauses 116 to 151) be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 10

Noes 5

Mr Barr

Ms Gallagher

Mr Coe

Mr Smyth

Dr Bourke

Mr Hargreaves

Mr Doszpot

Ms Bresnan

Ms Hunter

Mrs Dunne

Ms Burch

Ms Le Couteur

Mr Seselja

Mr Corbell

Mr Rattenbury

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Clause 172.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (12.24): Clause 172 in this legislation is where we deal with the right against self-incrimination. This is one of the human rights issues that occupied the Canberra Liberals in relation to this legislation. This clause takes away from people, admittedly in limited circumstances, the right to protection from self-incrimination.

The minister’s officials and staff have spent a lot of time trying to convince us that we do not need to be concerned about the removal of this basic right because it is in such limited circumstances. But it is a matter that was commented on by the scrutiny of bills committee at some length; it has been on other occasions commented on by the scrutiny of bills committee, and it is a matter of considerable concern for the Canberra Liberals. I also note that Western Australia has not gone down the path of abrogating


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