11:28 am, Friday 30 December, 2011
Millions of Australians will enjoy safer and more productive workplaces from January 1 when most states and territories have implemented harmonised health and safety laws. This is according to new Employment and Workplace Minister Bill Shorten who also expressed his disappointment to Victoria and Western Australia for deciding to defer the implementation of the harmonised laws.
The Australian reports that the harmonised work health and safety laws would minimise red tape, deliver safer workplace and generate estimated national net benefits of $250 million a year over the next ten years, with productivity improvements of up to $2 billion a year.
Mr Shorten said that 58 percent of Australian workers would be covered by harmonised laws with Queensland, NSW, the ACT, the commonwealth and the Northern Territory implementing the WHS laws from January 1. Tasmania and South Australia would continue to consider the WHS laws next year.
He also said that workers and businesses in Victoria and WA would miss the benefits of the new laws and called on the two states to “honour their side of the bargain.”