Minister for Finance and Services, Greg Pearce, said NSW will commence the new Work Health and Safety (WHS) regime from tomorrow, 1 January 2012.

“These laws will enhance productivity and reduce compliance costs for businesses working in more than one jurisdiction, making it easier to do business in NSW,” Mr Pearce said.

“The NSW Liberals & Nationals have taken the lead with these historic changes, given NSW was one of the first states in Australia to pass the harmonised laws,” he said.

“This is a once-in-a-generation change in NSW that will repair a convoluted system of legislation into a simplified set of laws.

“The harmonisation of work health and safety laws will reduce compliance and red tape for employers whilst maintaining a strong work, health and safety framework in NSW.

“These changes follow the Government’s priority action in June removing various unfair procedural requirements and other provisions which were contrary to accepted criminal law procedures, such as reverse onus of proof.

“The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 was passed in Parliament by the NSW Liberals & Nationals in June 2011, and since then the Government has been working with businesses, employer groups and workers to ensure the state is aware of these historic changes.

“The NSW Government has provided $5.4 million in grants to 42 organisations to provide training and scheduled 28 training sessions that will be coordinated by WorkCover.

“The Government will also work with industry throughout 2012 to assist them in implementing the new requirements.

“Simplifying the legislation is an important step to maintain a strong work, health and safety framework, keep businesses accountable, 

educe red tape for employers, and simplify the laws for both employers and workers,” Mr Pearce said.

More information can be found on WorkCover’s website at www.workcover.nsw.gov.au.

You can read the PDF version of this media release.

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