Minister for Finance and Services, Greg Pearce, said today New South Wales had taken the next step towards delivering on its commitment to harmonised work health and safety laws with the passing of legislation in the NSW Legislative Council.

“The NSW Liberals & Nationals promised to introduce this legislation in our first 100 days of government and we are delivering on that promise,” Mr Pearce said.

“We are making the laws easier to understand, cutting red tape for business and most importantly, maintaining our strong work, health and safety framework,” he said.

“This is a common-sense approach to work health and safety as agreed by all Governments at COAG two years ago.
“This is a win for workers and a win for business.

The legislation, which commences from 1 January 2012, ensures that NSW:

  • maintains its strong work, health and safety framework;
  • keeps businesses accountable;
  • reduces red tape for employers; and
  • simplifies the laws for both employers and workers

“As testament to the NSW Government’s commitment to workplace health and safety, we are also fast-tracking aspects of the national legislation,” Mr Pearce said.

“These aspects include putting the onus of proof on the prosecution and requiring directors to exercise due diligence in the discharge of their occupational health and safety responsibilities.

“The vast majority of reforms have now been passed, although there are some minor amendments which may not be consistent with the National approach previously agreed to by the former Labor Government.

“Our Government remains committed to providing a safe and healthy working environment for every NSW worker.

“The bills passed in the NSW Legislative Council today are long overdue, and will finally deliver the certainty and protection all local workers and local businesses deserve,” Mr Pearce said.

You can read the PDF version of this media release.

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