Page 3496 - Week 11 - Thursday, 15 November 2007

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I think it is quite simple and fundamental. It relates essentially to our place within the Murray-Darling Basin Commission and the significance, for the future prosperity and growth of our city, of having a secure water supply. That demands that we have the same right as other jurisdictions within the basin that are similarly affected. To suggest that we should come to the table essentially as a mendicant, without a voting right, and say, “This is what we want, this is what we hope to achieve and this is what we need to do to secure our water future, but we accept that we do not have a vote or a voting right in the development of that framework,” is simply not appropriate.

This is an important bill. It is just a machinery bill, essentially, but it is vital in the context of our capacity to fully participate in negotiations and discussions and within the new legislative framework that has been constructed for the control of water in this part of the nation. I thank members for their support for what is an important next step in securing our full rights to participate as members of the Murray-Darling Basin Commission.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Occupational Health and Safety (Regulatory Services) Legislation Amendment Bill 2007

Debate resumed from 27 September 2007, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (5.10): The opposition will be supporting this bill. The bill consolidates various powers and functions relating to operational and regulatory matters involving occupational health and safety. It transfers the regulatory powers over occupational health and safety matters to the Office of Regulatory Services.

Under current occupational health and safety laws, powers and responsibilities for safety are vested in the various different chief executives of government departments and various statutory office holders. This has been, in part, a natural response to the divisions of expertise within the public service and, in part, the product of historical accident.

In briefings on this bill, officials in the Policy and Regulatory Division of the Department of Justice and Community Safety were kind enough to provide for my office a detailed history of the evolution of occupational health and safety regulation in the territory, and I appreciate that briefing. Despite the rather eclectic allocation of powers and responsibilities that has arisen over the history of the development of occupational health and safety laws, there has already been a coherent attempt to delegate these various powers to the Occupational Health and Safety Commissioner as a central repository of a large number of powers.

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