Page 2732 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 23 June 2009

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investment of $569,000 over four years to support the establishment of Safe Work Australia. Our investment represents the ACT’s share, based on the ACT’s population.

Over the next year, Safe Work Australia will be responsible for drafting national OH&S legislation and its supporting regulations and providing them to the Workplace Relations Ministerial Council for agreement. OIR will be heavily involved in this process, both from a position on the Safe Work Australia Council and through representation on a number of interjurisdictional working parties that will assist in reviewing and commenting on the draft legislation.

While the ACT government is committed to national OH&S harmonisation, we are not forgetting our own OH&S legislative requirements. It is likely to be another two years before nationally harmonised OH&S laws are introduced. In the meantime, the government is continuing with its plans to implement modern OH&S laws in the ACT. The Work Safety Act 2008 is currently the most modern piece of OH&S legislation in Australia and is the main reason why it is such a short step for the ACT to move to the nationally harmonised legislation.

Following requests from employer and employee representatives on the ACT OH&S Council, I agreed to delay the commencement of the Work Safety Act to 1 October 2009. This will allow for a full consultation period with employers, regulators and employee representatives on the package of regulations that has been developed to support the act. The regulations were released for consultation in June this year, with consultation continuing until the second half of July. Together, the Work Safety Act and its supporting regulations will provide an excellent bridge to the nationally harmonised OH&S legislation.

In 2007, when family and community day was introduced, the government gave a commitment to review the future of the holiday after the repeal of the Work Choices legislation. To honour that commitment, I sought the views of the public as to whether the day should be abolished, left where it is or moved to another day with more significance to the ACT. The consultation period has finished and drew more than 1,000 responses from across the ACT community. Detailed comments submitted by the community are still being consolidated. However, in terms of overall numbers, close to 90 per cent of respondents want to keep family and community day, with a substantial majority of those preferring the day to be moved to a day that has more significance to the ACT.

I am intending to consider the responses to the consultation and then to make a recommendation to the government about the future of family and community day. I am delighted that so many people in our community took the trouble to respond and I look forward to introducing legislation in the spring session of the Assembly to make a place in our holiday calendar for a day that will give our community great pleasure for many years to come.

The ACT government has committed to the introduction of a security of payments scheme for the building and construction industry in the ACT. Contractors in the building and construction industry in the ACT are entitled to be paid for the work they complete, and they are entitled to be paid quickly. A security of payments scheme will

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