The South Australian Parliament will be the first in Australia to be presented with a Work Health and Safety Bill based on the model National OHS laws. The Work Health and Safety Bill 2011 will be tabled in parliament on 7 April 2011, according to a media release from the South Australian Minister for Industrial Relations, Bernard Finnigan.
Finnigan sees great advantages in the bill:
“Harmonised work health and safety laws will slash red tape for business operators while maintaining a high level of protection for employees,” he said. “It will also provide for greater labour mobility, with training and licences recognised across states and territories.
Organisations will have to comply with just one set of laws regardless of the number of states or territories in which they operate, thereby reducing their compliance costs. Ultimately it means greater certainty for employers and enhanced safety protection for workers.”
There remains some dispute about the optimism that Finnigan shares with many other harmonisation advocates but the validity of the optimism will only be assessed through hindsight.
Update 8 April 2011