Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 12 Hansard (16 November) . . Page.. 3537 ..
MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (11.04): Mr Speaker, I ask for leave to present the WorkCover Authority Bill 1999.
MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I present the WorkCover Authority Bill 1999, together with its explanatory memorandum.
Title read by Clerk.
MR SMYTH: I move:
That this Bill be agreed to in principle.
I seek leave to have my tabling speech incorporated in Hansard.
The speech read as follows:
This is a further and important step in the process of reforming the regulation of occupational health and safety in the ACT that began in 1997.
The WorkCover Authority will provide an integrated approach to regulation and service provision covering the health, safety and compensation rights of employers and employees in the ACT.
The Government's objective in establishing the Authority is overwhelmingly to ensure that it is empowered to conduct its business in an independent manner.
This Bill ensures that the Authority will be enabled to discharge its statutory functions independently but within a clear legislative and accountability framework determined by Government and the Assembly. This is completely consistent with the Coroner's recommendation on page 294 of the Report of the inquest into the Death of Katie Bender that:
'Both bodies (Workcover and the Danger6us Goods Unit) should be created as one autonomous statutory unit independent of any departmental control answerable to a Minister of the Legislative Assembly'.