Monday, 2 December 2019
Work Health and Safety
At the request of Senators Watt, Green and Chisholm, I move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) in the past 18 months, there have been seven workplace deaths in the mining sector in Queensland,
(ii) every worker has the right to a safe work environment, and
(iii) the Queensland Government is taking action on industrial manslaughter laws to cover acts and omissions involving negligence in the mining sector;
(b) offers our condolences to the Australians who have lost loved ones and workmates who should have come home safely from work; and
(c) supports the Queensland Government's action to expand industrial manslaughter laws to protect the safety of workers in the mining sector.
The government believes that everyone who goes to work should return home safely to their family each day. The Commonwealth is working with the states and territories to explore how the preventive focus of existing workplace health and safety laws can be strengthened to prevent injury and, importantly, deaths in the workplace.
State and Commonwealth ministers will soon meet to consider all recommendations from the 2018 review of model laws, including the recommendation for a specific offence relating to industrial manslaughter, to ensure consistency and harmonisation. That is the appropriate forum to determine any changes to these laws, and not this motion today in the Senate.
Question agreed to.