New poll: West Australians support manslaughter reform

UnionsWA has today released results from a poll commissioned by the ACTU on community attitudes in WA to industrial manslaughter law reform. This poll follows the recent release by the federal government of the Boland Review Report on national work health and safety laws which has recommended industrial manslaughter law reform. The WA Government is currently considering the need for this and other work health and safety reforms in WA.

Owen Whittle, UnionsWA Assistant Secretary said:

“The experts agree, the public agrees and our parliaments should get on with the job of saving lives by enacting industrial manslaughter laws.

“West Australians understand that our economy relies on a particularly dangerous mix of jobs and industries.

“This poll shows that 24.6% of West Australians strongly support the introduction of industrial manslaughter laws to allow our courts to jail employers responsible for work deaths.

“This compares with 23.5% strong support for such reforms across Australia.

“Overall, 55.9% of West Australians either support or strongly support industrial manslaughter law reform and only 14.3% are unsure.

“Less than a third of the community opposes such reform.

“This poll follows the release last week of the Boland Report, commissioned by the federal government to review national work health and safety laws, and which has recommended that industrial manslaughter laws be introduced.

“The WA Government is currently considering the need for reform.

“When very large corporations face relatively minor fines for breaking work health and safety laws, there is no meaningful penalty or disincentive.

“Responsible individuals need to know that they can face jail time if they break the law.

“The poll found that 62% of West Australians believe that unions have an important role in improving work health and safety.

”Penalties are important, but we also need to prevent work injuries and fatalities.

Further information

Review of the model Work Health and Safety laws Final report December 2018 (Boland Report) is available online here.

A summary of the uComms poll commissioned by the ACTU is available online here.

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