Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 31 July 2018) . . Page.. 2457 ..
worker safety and upholding workers’ rights to a safe and healthy workplace. Mr Wall's rhetoric on this matter does him no credit and is, as Ms Cody has noted, highly offensive to the union officials who are often the people who sit alongside families in their grief when workers are killed or seriously injured on a construction site.
Under these amendments unions are able to provide input on how to best organise workers into work groups in a way that recognises their shared interest in health and safety. We make no apologies for our government's position that a strong union makes an important, positive difference to the safety and culture of a workplace. That said, these amendments acknowledge that the requirement of consultation cannot be used as an alternative to right-of-entry provisions under existing laws or to unnecessarily delay a project.
While this bill is a departure from the national model health and safety laws, as I have noted, other jurisdictions that have adopted the laws have made changes since they were developed in 2011. The territory also departed from the model laws to be responsive to local issues, particularly relating to asbestos safety. Best practice in work health and safety is constantly evolving and we need to be responsive to protect our workers. This government believes that the measures introduced by this bill are vital to the safety of construction workers, and this position has also been put forward by the territory in Safe Work Australia's review of the model laws.
I conclude by thanking the scrutiny committee for its consideration of the bill and everyone who has had input into its development. This includes various unions, particularly the CFMEU, and other members of the Work Safety Council and its subcommittee, the construction safety advisory committee. Finally, I thank the officials who worked on the bill.
This bill will make our work health and safety framework more effective and more responsive and will raise the bar for safety in the construction industry. The government looks forward to seeing the results of these changes in better safety outcomes and workers getting home safely.
Mr Wall: Madam Deputy Speaker, I have a point of order. With indulgence, before the vote is put finally, I draw your attention to continuing resolution 5, members’ code of conduct, specifically point 12, which states that members should:
Actively seek to avoid or prevent any conflict of interest, or the perception of such a conflict, arising between their duties as a Member and their personal affairs and interests, take all reasonable steps to resolve any such conflict or perception of a conflict that does arise…
In Ms Cody’s comments, she stated her affiliation with the CFMEU, the large beneficiaries of this legislation. Likewise, Mr Pettersson’s statement of registrable interests outlines his membership of the same organisation. Standing order 156, as to whether members of this place may have a conflict of interest either directly or indirectly, should preclude them from voting on this legislation.