Page 704 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 26 February 2013

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In response to the report, the government has already developed a package of measures designed to give effect to the recommendations and advance worker safety in the territory. The government has agreed to establish a senior executive level steering committee made up of deputy directors-general from all directorates which have capital works programs to ensure that those recommendations in the report are implemented.

The government will ensure that its own procurement processes are robust and will ensure that, when contracts are being considered, a tenderer’s safety record is an important consideration. The government has already commenced consultation with industry on its model of proactive assurance for capital works projects.

I have already indicated that in the coming weeks the government will work to introduce legislation that will establish an industrial magistrates court in the ACT, and a review of the Building Act is underway. The government will be considering the most appropriate way of requiring the registration of engineers involved in the construction industry. In the interim, companies involved in civil construction projects will be required to ensure that any engineers they engage are appropriately qualified.

Additional WorkSafe inspectors will be available to provide education and advice and to assist business to improve the safety of construction sites. To ensure the sustainability of the territory’s workers compensation and workplace health and safety schemes, the government has decided it will progressively transfer the cost of regulating workers compensation and work health and safety legislation to workers compensation insurers and self-insurers by way of a levy. The levy will be subject to a cap and should not increase premiums by more than 0.015 per cent per year. This measure will help to protect the integrity and the sustainable financing of these schemes into the future.

I anticipate introducing the enabling legislation to apportion work health and safety costs later this year. As can be seen, Madam Speaker, the government is already moving quickly to implement these recommendations. But, as I have said before and I stress again today, the government cannot do this alone. The majority of the recommendations in the Getting home safely report require a commitment from industries and unions to work together to implement positive change. I am pleased to see that there is already work in this regard underway.

An advisory committee established by the ACT Work Safety Council, with representatives from the building industry unions and employers, has already met on two occasions. This body will facilitate cooperation by industry participants in implementing the recommendations in the report. The MBA have taken a positive step in convening their own reference group to see how they can respond to the recommendations in the report. I look forward to this being the way forward.

I know that the MBA has commissioned its own report into issues surrounding safety in the building industry. I trust that that report is a report about implementation, about how to improve outcomes when it comes to work health and safety, and not a report designed to downplay the seriousness of the situation. That said, I welcome the

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