Page 2539 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 6 August 2013

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the Chief Minister and Treasury Directorate for whole-of-government use. The guidelines set out the expectations for the territory’s management of work health and safety and construction works. All territory entities will use these guidelines as the basis to further build a safety culture in its construction projects. In addition, the Chief Minister and Treasury Directorate has developed a project safety management system. This practical business system will assist public servants in the day-to-day management of works where the territory is principal contractor or the works are of a low value.

There is still, however, further work to be done. The Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate will shortly release a discussion paper on the regulation of the engineering profession and other people involved in the design and certification of building and building services. Consultation will focus on a best-practice model for providing accountability of those practitioners for the quality and compliance of their work.

It is important to ensure that persons providing such critical advice clearly have the skills and expertise to do so. Regulation is broader than simply requiring practitioners to hold a particular qualification or an accreditation given by practitioner associations. It needs to include systems for auditing and responding to non-compliance, management of the ongoing education of practitioners, and the defining of the different scopes of work and associated responsibilities for each type of work.

Following the release of this discussion paper and its public consultation phase, I anticipate new legislation to regulate the engineering profession will be introduced during the first half of 2014. The Education and Training Directorate is considering options for the building and construction training fund to deliver the most effective training possible for the industry, and I expect to be in a position to advise the Assembly further on this soon.

As I have previously indicated when the government tabled its response to the Getting home safely report, safety on construction sites is not just a matter for government. It requires commitment from industry and from key peak bodies—from employers and employees; from unions; from all engaged in the business of safety. While I am pleased with the cooperation shown through the Construction Safety Advisory Committee established by the ACT Work Safety Council, we still need to continue to build on our commitment to safety.

I emphasise the importance of industry leading by example. There are many in the construction sector who do the right thing, who are committed to the safety of their employees and to best practice on their building sites. But the construction industry is more than just builders and construction companies. There are a range of kindred industries, from electricians to plumbers to formwork workers to cabinet-makers and kitchen companies. They all need to be engaged in making sure they work in a safe environment and focus on safety.

The government will continue to work with these groups to ensure that they are working together, and I will continue to provide the Assembly with six-monthly updates on the implementation of the Getting home safely recommendations.

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