OHS policies of two of Australia’s political parties

Australia’s Federal election campaign has reached the halfway point but the political parties have yet to officially launch their campaigns so the policies that may relate to occupational health and safety (OHS) are unclear.  Even the Australian Greens have yet to launch their campaign but some of their long-held policy positions are clear. The Safety Institute of Australia (SIA) has received the workplace safety campaign policies of the Australian Labor Party.  More discussion on policies will occur when more are released. Continue reading “OHS policies of two of Australia’s political parties”

Whitlam’s dismissal diverted workers compensation reform

In October 2014, one of Australia’s Prime Ministers, Gough Whitlam, died at the age of 98.  Whitlam introduced major social reforms, many which still exist today (just).  One reform he valued but was not able to achieve was a national accident compensation scheme. It is worth noting when reading of the current economic and moral arguments over workplace responsibility and over-regulation that Whitlam’s national accident compensation scheme included workers compensation.

In 1974, during Whitlam’s time as the Prime Minister of Australia, the New Zealand government established a no-fault accident compensation scheme following the 1967 Royal Commission of Inquiry into Compensation for Personal Injury in New Zealand chaired by Owen Woodhouse.  Woodhouse was invited to assess the likelihood of a similar scheme being introduced in Australia.  He completed his inquiry (not available online) for such a scheme and legislation was drafted. The bill was in the Australian Parliament when the Whitlam government was dismissed by Governor-General John Kerr.  As a result of the political machinations of the Liberal Party of Australia, Australia missed the opportunity to have a national accident compensation scheme. Continue reading “Whitlam’s dismissal diverted workers compensation reform”