Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 15 November 2007) . . Page.. 3504 ..
workplace and will review ACT laws to ensure consistency with the OH&S Act and associated legislation.
The OH&S Commissioner will continue to play a critical role in raising awareness within the community of occupational health and safety responsibilities, including responsibilities under new legislation. Retention of this independent role demonstrates the importance and priority that the government places on education and promotion of work safety. To ensure an appropriate level of transparency and accountability in the work of the OH&S Commissioner, the commissioner will report at six-monthly intervals to the Minister for Industrial Relations, who will table these reports in the Assembly.
I just want to refer quickly to an item raised by Mr Mulcahy during the debate. He questioned the use of the term “good faith” in relation to OH&S legislation. I am advised that Mr Mulcahy would appear to be confusing the term “good faith” with the term “utmost good faith”, which is the term that the judicial authority relates to. “Utmost good faith” I am advised has a specific meaning in relation to very specific circumstances, particularly in areas of tort law, such as negligence, but it is very different from and does not have the same meaning as the term “good faith”, which is synonymous with acting honestly, and it is that terminology that the government is proposing to use in this legislation.
The Occupational Health and Safety Commissioner’s office will be funded to enable outsourcing of promotional and educational activities as appropriate. I think this is an important reform and one that enables the territory to operate in a manner suitable for its circumstances. It is a small jurisdiction and it is difficult to maintain and resource properly a wide diversity of small statutory agencies. In these particular circumstances the government has determined that the amalgamation of those functions is the most cost-effective way of delivering these services to a city the size of Canberra and it is for that reason that we are progressing with these reforms. I thank members for their support and I commend the bill to the Assembly.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.
Bill agreed to.
Motion by Mr Corbell proposed:
That the Assembly do now adjourn.
MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (5.39): We have been recently fortunate to hear the announcement by the Australian government of its promise to continue its cuts to