UnionsWA will today co-host a rally of working people on the steps of Parliament House and will join calls for the Work Health and Safety Bill 2019 and industrial manslaughter law reforms to be passed by the WA Parliament this year.
Owen Whittle, Assistant Secretary UnionsWA said:
“Lives will be lost if we have to wait until next year for workplace safety reforms, which is now a real risk.
“Arcane parliamentary procedures mean that if the Work Health and Safety Bill 2019 and its industrial manslaughter law reforms don’t pass in the next few weeks, then it will not be done before the March 2021 election.
“All the delays have been from the Legislative Council and after the election a new Legislative Council will not take office until the middle of 2021.
“If the Bill is not passed in the next week or so, then it is likely a new Work Health and Safety Bill will not be enacted until late 2021.
“This Bill has been directly interrogated by two Legislative Council Committees in details with another committee supportive of aspects the Bill.
“The Legislative Council has almost completed consideration of the Bill in detail, including having decided to support the crucial industrial manslaughter law reform measures.
“The parliament should stay on the job until this Bill is done.
“Despite exaggeration and misrepresentation by some employer groups on the impact of industrial manslaughter reform, the reality is that the offence provisions that the Legislative Council has already agreed on will ensure the harshest penalties apply for the worst of preventable workplace deaths.
“The bottom line is that passage of this Bill will save lives and further delays will cost lives.
“Working people in Western Australia want a clear message sent about work health and safety, one that values their lives.”