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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2307 ..



major concerns that government organisations in the ACT are suffering as a result of the OH&S compliance requirements.

The performance measures for OH&S compliance across the ACT seem to be adequate, and this important function appears to be adequately funded. However, I would like to see a lot more funding go into that requirement. I think this is a bit of a sleeping giant.

I warn the government that the level of funding to exercise, assess, carry out safety audits and check the compliance of organisations is not what we would like to see. I believe we need a more vigorous program for those types of audits. I suspect the government is not picking up enough of the inadequacies of safety management, which anecdotally do exist. The organisations themselves need to do a lot more work towards the raising of safety standards.

WorkCover is certainly doing an adequate job, but I would prefer to see a more vigorous program. I would like to have seen more funding made available, to enable those audits to be carried out a little more regularly. The anecdotal evidence around the place is that many organisations still do not quite understand the requirements they must meet. That is not a criticism, it is just that this is a learning phase for some organisations. I would like to see the government putting in a lot more in the way of auditing, not only to test compliance but also to enable further training and instruction to be undertaken by those organisations. In that way, their wardens and safety officers will be better equipped and will better understand the requirements for safety.

I notice the ACT is doing reasonably well in public enterprise safety management, but we are falling below the national average in OH&S in the retail sector. Clearly we need to be more vigorous in engaging with the retail sector, to ensure they understand the requirements. Should WorkCover be more aggressive in going out to the retail sector and offering its assistance to raise the standard of safety management, or should we perhaps be seeing more of an interventionist safety role-something they may offer the retail sector?

Certainly there needs to be funding put aside for a more vigorous advertising program, to ensure that all members of the ACT's free enterprise sector are aware of the safety requirements, and kept up to speed with the changed management aspects, of OH&S performance across the ACT.

Mr Speaker, turning now to industrial manslaughter: I understand the government continues to evaluate this concept. There might be only a small amount of money and energy spent on reviewing industrial manslaughter, but this money is still wasted. This is a concept which will not go down particularly well here in the ACT, so I question whether there is a need to go on with that.

Ms Gallagher

: There is a committee inquiring into it at the moment.


: Yes, but efforts are still being made in government to have a look at some of those concepts. Existing industrial work practices are more than adequate. We know that the system now in place possesses all the provisions which need to be

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