Page 1285 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 5 May 2015

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years as the industrial court magistrate. The court has the jurisdiction to deal with industrial or work safety matters.

I would like to recognise the achievements of groups such as the Work Safety Council and Construction Safety Advisory Committee in implementing improvements throughout the construction industry.

The ACT government continues with the process of active certification and the comparative assessment process for government-funded construction projects. Companies contracting to government are well aware of their safety performance, and that it is being monitored, and any failures to meet safety requirements will have consequences when tendering for future work. The significance of this initiative should not be understated. It not only ensures that companies have excellent safety systems but also has a positive flow-on effect for non-government jobs. This initiative continues to encourage companies to distinguish themselves from their competitors by virtue of the quality of their safety systems and outcomes.

The government are well aware of the importance of the construction industry to the ACT economy, but our support is predicated on ensuring the safety of all construction workers. The introduction of the new infringement notice offences demonstrates the government’s commitment to improving work health and safety outcomes for workers in the territory.

I would like at this stage to point to the interventions by this government, in particular by the ACT Work Safety Commissioner and the asbestos task force, to ensure the safety of construction workers who may be exposed to asbestos while at work. Over the last year, the ACT Work Safety Commissioner has taken responsibility for the asbestos awareness course and the licensing of registered training organisations to deliver the course. To date, more than 17,000 workers have undertaken the asbestos awareness course, which is a tremendous result. Recent changes also mean that the Work Safety Commissioner has responsibility for the licensing of asbestos assessors, meaning we now have a coordinated approach to dealing with asbestos issues.

We continue our work with Safe Work Australia to develop guidance for transient and new workers in the construction industry. This work is aimed at assisting employers to identify barriers for communicating work health and safety messages to transient and new workers.

I am pleased to reiterate that the government remains committed to eliminating health and safety risk from ACT workplaces and to leading initiatives and improvements for the health and safety of all ACT workers.

As the Assembly will be aware, the recommendations of Getting home safely commit the government to a review of our progress in achieving a reduction in serious injury rates in 2016. The government will provide the Assembly with a report on the outcome of this review.

As I indicated at the beginning, work safety is important in every workplace, in every industry in the territory. We must not lose sight of the fact that other industries have

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