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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 5 August 2021) . . Page.. 2354 ..

Economy and Gender and Economic Equality—Standing Committee

Statement by chair

MS CASTLEY (Yerrabi) (10.55): Pursuant to standing order 246A I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Economy and Gender and Economic Equality relating to statutory appointments in accordance with continuing resolution 5A.

Continuing Resolution 5A was agreed by the Legislative Assembly on 23 August 2012. The schedule is required to include the statutory appointments considered and for each appointment the date the request from the responsible minister for consultation was received and the date the committee’s feedback was provided. For the reporting period 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021 the committee considered one statutory appointment.

I table the following schedule:

Economy and Gender and Economic Equality—Standing Committee—Schedule of Statutory Appointments—10th Assembly—Period 1 January to 30 June 2021.

Work Health and Safety Amendment Bill 2021

Debate resumed from 24 June 2021, on motion by Mr Gentleman:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR CAIN (Ginninderra) (10.56): I am sure that for all members workplace health and safety is a very serious matter. Every worker should return home and unharmed at the end of the work day. The Canberra Liberals will support this bill, which will relocate the offence of industrial manslaughter from the Crimes Act to the Work Health and Safety Act and provide more nuanced enforcement options to the regulator.

The bill will also broaden the circumstances where industrial manslaughter charges may be brought. In practice, of course, it will need to be closely monitored to ensure the intent is being met. Obviously, we would expect to see improved workplace practices, given the strong deterrent of these measures.

I urge the government, however, to liaise closely with the Canberra Business Community to ensure an understanding of these changes and the efficient adoption of any amended regulatory burdens. This consultation is particularly important with respect to the small and medium sized employers in the territory. Such employers typically have fewer resources available to manage changes in governance. Of course, a small business advisory council as proposed by Ms Castley would be able to advise on the repercussions of this change in legislation, and it is disappointing this government continues to refuse to establish such a body.

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