“WorkSafe charged John Holland Pty Ltd in relation to an October 2006 safety incident associated with the transport of concrete panels for Melbourne’s Eastlink tollway.
At the time, the company was operating under Victoria’s workplace health and safety laws, but several months later it became a self-insurer under Comcare and subject to the Commonwealth’s OHS law.
John Holland Pty Ltd argued in the High Court that since it transferred to Comcare before the charges were issued, under the Australian Constitution, the Federal OHS law should prevail.
In a unanimous decision, seven High Court judges on Tuesday upheld the right of the states and territories to take action where the incident occurred before the jurisdictional change and ordered John Holland Pty Ltd to pay WorkSafe’s costs.
Matters that have been on-hold in other states and territories are also likely to proceed now.”
Australian law firm, Allens Arthur Robinson also issued a background statement on the case.