Senate debates

Thursday, 24 November 2011


Work Health and Safety Bill 2011, Work Health and Safety (Transitional and Consequential Provisions) Bill 2011; In Committee

8:53 pm

Photo of Jacinta CollinsJacinta Collins (Victoria, Australian Labor Party, Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations) Share this | | Hansard source

I will take you to the bill's objects, specifically to clause 3(1)(b):

(b) providing for fair and effective workplace representation, consultation, co-operation and issue resolution in relation to work health and safety;

Under this regime it will be the workers' right to determine whether they wish to have representation. That said, though, I have sought from the department advice as to whether, to their knowledge, any exemption regime has ever been raised as a policy issue for consideration or been presented by any of the stakeholders consulted. I must admit that it is the first time it has been suggested. That is perhaps because essentially all of the parties engaged in this process have accepted that the fundamental objective is to give workers the right to representation in relation to their health and safety.