The Hon. Rob Lucas MLC

The Hon

Rob Lucas MLC

Treasurer

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Tasmania latest state to delay WHS legislation

Friday, 2 December 2011

Tasmania is the latest state to oppose controversial ‘harmonised’ Work, Health and Safety laws commencing on 1 January 2012.

Yesterday, the Tasmanian Legislative Council voted 11-3 to amend the Work, Health and Safety Bill to delay commencement until 1 January 2013. The Bill was sent back to the House of Assembly for further debate in March next year.

Tasmania joins South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia in delaying the implementation of the legislation.

Shadow Industrial Relations Minister Rob Lucas said Premier Weatherill continued to ignore the growing opposition to Labor’s bill.

“It is now time for the impact of the bill and regulations on housing affordability and the cost of doing business to be properly scrutinised,” Mr Lucas said.

“The Weatherill Government has not done any analysis on the impact of this bill on South Australian businesses and this work should be undertaken before the final decision is made on the bill,” Mr Lucas said.

“Four out of six states have now demonstrated serious concerns about the legislation, and Victoria and Western Australia have not even introduced the model bill into parliament yet.

“The laws will supposedly be ‘harmonised’ but already New South Wales has amended the ‘model bill,’ and the Western Australian Government has indicated they will also amend the model bill. The Victorian Government may amend the bill, and the Liberal Party in South Australia has flagged a number of amendments.

“Claims today by Industrial Relations Minister Russell Wortley about South Australia losing $33 million of Federal funding are just political spin. The facts are South Australia can earn $33 million over two years if it makes progress over 27 agreed areas of deregulation.

“This bill is one of ten high priorities areas out of the total of 27. Therefore, any possible loss of funding would be some unspecified component of the $33 million. The Federal Government would also take into consideration that four of the six states have also delayed implementation.”

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