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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (27 November) . . Page.. 4854 ..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

Where you have a corporate culture that ends up with such pressure that some negligence occurs, where a supervisor makes an honest mistake because of the corporate pressure that exists and where he or she has done everything that he or she may have done, but a death nonetheless resulted, the directing mind and will can now still be held accountable for that death under this legislation. It will now hold a corporation, as a non-real identity, responsible for that death. That is the major issue with this. I will say it again: there is no change to the individual responsibility for persons at the workplace.

I do not know what these people opposite are a bit afraid of. There are many rules in our statute laws that say you should not do something, and they apply to the same things. For example, with some traffic offences, you will find that you are charged with three or four traffic offences for the one infringement. It is still the same here, only we are talking about the death of people.

Mr Pratt talked to us about following our Labor mates. Well, if Tony Blair has got it wrong, bad luck, Tony Blair. If Victoria has got it wrong, bad luck, Victoria. Bad luck.

Mr Pratt: They have all got it wrong.

MR HARGREAVES: "They might have it all wrong,"says Mr Pratt. I am glad to see the admission on that, and I am glad to see Hansard recording Mr Pratt agreeing with me. The issue, of course, is that Victoria were right to go, ready to rock and roll. But they included vicarious liability, which I note you have not acknowledged has been removed by the ACT legislation. You did not acknowledge that.

It is not so that, if a person does everything in their power to prevent something, they will be charged. If a person cannot possibly be expected to have known something, they will not be charged. That is a defence. Read the legislation and you will see that. That is one of the major differences between here and Victoria.

What you have before you is just legislation. This is legislation that gives the people in the gallery who have come to support this what they are demanding. The mothers of young people killed on work sites are demanding it. The union movement are demanding it. The young people-the friends-are demanding it. And the small business people that I know, those who are not fooled by the propaganda about this, are quite happy about it too because they know they have nothing to fear. Why you people would spread fear amongst these people is beyond me-beyond belief. Why would you do it?

Why would you not say to these people, "If you have good OH&S practices and you're doing everything you can to stop anybody getting injured at your place, you have nothing to worry about"? Perhaps it is a worry because your propaganda might be catching, a bit like Hong Kong flu or something, and might zip around the insurance industry, and the insurance industry will have a reason to jack your premiums up. Maybe they should come to your propaganda. All I can say is that, if the insurance industry jack their premiums up, let it be laid at your door, not ours. We are saying, "You haven't got anything to worry about."You wouldn't, though. You have not thought about it enough.

This legislation picks up everybody in the food chain. I recall the example that we talked about in committee. We had a scenario where an owner/truck-driver gets a contract from a bloke who has a transport contract to deliver stuff to Sydney, but that bloke is actually

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