Starting January 1, the states WHS Act 2012 took over where the Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act 1986 left off. This change means that SA has joined NSW, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory in their adoption of the OHS Harmonisation laws.
SafeWork SA acting director Robin Scott reports that the new legislation will basically be aligned with existing requirements resulting in a minimal impact on businesses throughout the state.
South Australia risks missing out on the $33 million incentive payment it would have been awarded had SA decided to pass the OHS Harmonisation laws.
Early last week, the Upper house voted to delay the WHS bill. The Government desired to have the bill passed this week in order to implement it from January 1. Now that it is delayed the bill will not be discussed until later next year. South Australia has essentially turned down $ 33 million in COAG payments by not implementing the Harmonised OHS bill by Jan 1, 2012.
Since the legislation was not passed by SA, then the Commonwealth must reconsider whether or not the payment can be awarded to SA.
.The Opposition’s frontrunner Rob Lucas has accused the Government of neglecting the anxieties from Industry organisations.Opposition frontbencher Rob Lucas, who moved to delay the Bill, has accused the Government of ignoring the concerns from industry organisations.SA Unions have strongly supported and campaigned for the implementation of the new laws, since they believe the laws are needed to prevent fatal workplace injuries.
The concern of some is that the new laws would essentially give union bosses the power to enter work sites themselves when they have OHS concerns, and cost an additional $20 thousand for a new house.