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NSW Opposition OH&S bill is reminder of need for reforms

10 December, 2007

The decision of the NSW Opposition to introduce into the NSW Parliament an OH&S Bill that mirrors the John Della Bosca Bill released by the Government in 2006 is a reminder that NSW needs OH&S reform, says the State’s largest employer organisation NSW Business Chamber.

“NSW has the most vexing OH&S system in terms of compliance, prosecutions and fines and yet has, according to the ABS, injury rates worse than the Australian average”, said Kevin MacDonald, CEO of NSW Business Chamber.

“The system is not working as it should and is failing both employers and employees. The Government itself recognised this by introducing a draft bill which it subsequently withdrew for political purposes.

“The review process has now dragged on for over two years with the NSW Government receiving the latest review from Hon Paul Stein AM QC in April.

“The Leader of the Opposition O’Farrell is right to put OH&S back on the agenda and he has demonstrated a willingness to engage in a complex policy issue.

“I am not advocating that this mirror Bill is perfect, far from it, but at least it represents a willingness to engage in a real debate about how to further improve our workplace safety culture in NSW.

“I believe injury rates are worse in NSW because NSW has not fostered a co-operative approach to workplace safety between employers, employees and Workcover.

“NSW Business Chamber has, along with 24 other industry organisations, made submissions to repeated government inquiries calling for reform of OH&S. The time has come for leadership and action – and the Leader of the Opposition has demonstrated it on this issue”.

NSW Business Chamber has over 30,000 members and is affiliated with 110 chambers of commerce.

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