Statements made by Industrial Relations Minister Wortley on the impact of controversial new work safety laws on volunteers are clearly wrong.
On Tuesday this week, Minister Wortley claimed:
“A volunteer cannot be charged for a breach of the Occ [sic], Health and Safety Act, they can only be charged if they cause injury or death through reckless or negligent behaviour.”
“This statement is clearly wrong as any volunteer can be prosecuted for a breach of Clause 28 of the Bill, which can include a failure to comply with any reasonable policy or procedure,” Shadow Industrial Relations Minister Rob Lucas said today.
“Nowhere in the Bill does it say that a volunteer will only be prosecuted if they cause injury or death through reckless or negligent behaviour.
“It is clear that Minister Wortley doesn‟t understand the implications of his own legislation. If Mr Wortley doesn‟t understand, it‟s no wonder there is considerable concern amongst volunteers in South Australia.
“In fact the President of the Law Society, Ralph Bonig, also criticised this Bill this week when he noted „one insidious consequence of this is the Bill‟s effect on those volunteer-run organisations that conduct a “business or undertaking‟.
“The Liberal Party has been raising concern about the Bill‟s impact on volunteers since September last year and will continue to highlight considerable community concerns about this and other aspects of the Bill.”