WorkSafe Victoria “launched” its Work Safe Week on 17 October 2011 with a lacklustre seminar about the future of OHS in Victoria but the quiet tone reflected the peculiar approach to OHS law reform taken by the government. Disappointingly the Victorian Minister responsible for WorkSafe, Gordon Rich-Phillips, failed to use Work Safe Week as an opportunity to introduce himself to the State’s safety professionals. His profile is almost non-existent other than his recent media release calling for a 12-month delay to OHS harmonisation, a decision that is likely to do more harm to OHS in Victoria than good. Perhaps he is waiting to appear at the upcoming WorkSafe Awards dinner.
WorkSafe’s first speaker, Lisa Sturzenegger, provided the, now expected, summary of WorkSafe Victoria marketing statistics and stakeholder perception surveys that we became so familiar with from John Merritt’s tenure as Executive Director, but without the spark. The message was that Victoria is leading the country in low workers’ compensation premiums and injury rates. Sturzenegger did continue to tell us what WorkSafe intends to do for the next 12 months but without new legislation, the message was “business as usual”, and the other States will be applying a harmonised OHS enforcement policy, anyway. Continue reading “Victoria is relinquishing its position of OHS leader in Australia”