11:04 am, Thursday 22 November, 2012
The Hon Bill Shorten MP
Photo: Ministers’ Media Centre
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Bill Shorten urged Victoria and Western Australia to introduce the harmonised Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws following South Australia and Tasmania’s move to adopt the new laws.
Mr Shorten said that harmonised laws will reduce red tape and deliver safer workplaces. Implementing the harmonised laws is estimated to generate national net benefits of $250 million each year over the next 10 years. The laws are also expected to generate productivity improvements of up to $2 billion a year over the same period.
“Our most important resource is our people – giving them certainty and greater safety at work is vitally important,” said Mr Shorten.
“With this is mind, I now call on Victoria and Western Australia to introduce their Bills, so workers in these states may also benefit from harmonised laws.”
With workplace in Tasmania and Australia introducing the new laws effective from 1 January 2013, Minister Shorten says 64 in every 100 working Australians will be covered by modern, best practice and consistent laws.
“This year marks the first time in history the majority of Australians will be covered by harmonised work health and safety arrangements,” he said.
“Workers and employers in South Australia and Tasmania will join millions of other Australians already benefitting from harmonised WHS laws in other states and territories.
“This will result in more productive workplaces, but more importantly it will provide safer workplaces so that all working Australians can return home to their loved ones at the end of their working day.”
Peak industry organisations, unions, governments and businesses across the country have been clamouring for harmonised health and safety laws for many years.
“The Gillard Government is now delivering these new arrangements, which include an agreed model Act, and Regulations and Codes of Practice.”
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