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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 3 June 2021) . . Page.. 1716 ..


Industrial relations—work health and safety

MR PETTERSSON: My question is to the Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety. Minister, how will the outcomes of the meeting of workplace safety ministers affect workers in the ACT?

Members interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: I assume the minister heard the question.

MR GENTLEMAN: I did.

Members interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: There was a little bit of static in the room, members.

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mr Pettersson for his question and for his interest in the safety of workers across the ACT. Two weeks ago, I met with state and territory workplace safety ministers and the commonwealth minister to discuss Marie Boland’s 2018 review of the model work health and safety laws. The review was a win for workers. It made 34 important recommendations for improving the model work health and safety laws, from which the ACT’s own work health and safety laws are derived.

At this meeting ministers agreed with the recommendations to create regulations to deal with psychosocial hazards. These important regulations will ensure that psychosocial risks, including workplace bullying and harassment, are treated with the same seriousness as risks to physical safety. I was pleased that all ministers agreed on the importance of these matters. Unfortunately, one thing that ministers could not agree on was the introduction of industrial manslaughter as an offence under the Work Health and Safety Act. The ACT voted in favour of this recommendation, as did all of the other Labor states, but the commonwealth and the Liberal states voted against it.

MR PETTERSSON: Minister, will the ACT be moving forward with its own industrial manslaughter legislation?

MR GENTLEMAN: Yes, the ACT will be moving ahead with the introduction of industrial manslaughter—

Mr Hanson: Madam Speaker, I would just ask if that is an announcement of policy that the question asked for. Will it be moving ahead with its own legislation? It sounds like it, doesn’t it?

MR GENTLEMAN: We made that announcement several months ago, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Gentleman has the floor.


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