Industrial Relations Minister Russell Wortley has embarrassed himself by claiming hotel ‘drive-throughs’ were dangerous for drivers and staff.
In May this year Minister Wortley responded to a statement by Australian Hotels’ Association President Peter Hurley that SafeWork SA staff had told him his drive-through bottle shop staff had to wear high-visibility vests at work.
In defending this decision, Mr Wortley told Parliament:
“I know myself, and many members around here would probably know, when I go to a driveway to get something and I get out of the car to move somewhere it is quite dangerous with the cars going through. It is quite dangerous when they have a busy driveway and you are trying to walk through. It is quite dangerous.”
However, WorkCover SA has now reported there have been no claims in the liquor retailing industry where driveway staff in hotels have been injured by cars whilst working in drive-through bottle shops.
“Everyone other than Minster Wortley and SafeWork SA would simply laugh at the suggestion that hotel drive-throughs are so dangerous they require staff to wear high-visibility vests,” Shadow Industrial Relations Minister Rob Lucas said.
“This is yet another example of ‘bureaucracy gone mad’ with SafeWork SA threatening hotel owners over high-visibility vests even though there is absolutely no evidence of any problem.
“It is this sort of over-regulation and red tape that is driving up the costs for small and medium-sized businesses in South Australia. The sad reality is the end result is lower economic growth and a loss of jobs.
“It is time for the Minister to ensure SafeWork SA concentrates on high priority and high risk work sites rather than wasting everyone’s time persecuting business operators on issues like high-visibility vests in hotel drive-throughs.
“There has been growing criticism from business about the operations of SafeWork SA under the existing work safety laws. It is yet another reason why SafeWork SA shouldn’t be given even stronger powers as proposed under the Labor Government’s controversial new work safety laws.”