Communique Safe Work Australia Meeting 11

On 27 April 2012, Safe Work Australia Members met in Canberra following the 7th annual Safe Work Australia Awards ceremony held the previous night at Parliament House. The Awards were hosted by the Hon Bill Shorten MP, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and recognised the outstanding contributions by both individuals and businesses to work health and safety in Australia. A list of winners and highly commended finalists are at www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au. During the meeting, the Safe Work Australia members discussed the progress on implementing the model work health and safety (WHS) laws. The WHS laws commenced in the Commonwealth, ACT, NSW, NT and QLD on 1 January 2012. The WHS laws have passed in Tasmania with a commencement date of 1 January 2013. Other jurisdictions provided status reports. Safe Work Australia Members endorsed a process for managing implementation issues that require urgent legislative response. This is to ensure the maintenance of the harmonised legislation. Also discussed was the Safe Work Australia Strategic Plan 2012-2015 and Operational Plan 2012-2013.Members endorsed the Safe Work Australia Strategic Plan 2012-2015 with minor amendments. The Safe Work Australia Act 2008 requires Safe Work Australia to develop a three year strategic plan once every three years. The strategic plan includes six key outcomes to be achieved for 2012-2015. The members endorsed the Safe Work Australia Operational Plan 2012-2013. In line with the Safe Work Australia Act 2008 the operational plan sets out activities to assist Safe Work Australia achieve the key outcomes of the strategic plan. The Safe Work Australia Strategic Plan 2012-2015 and Safe Work Australia Operational Plan 2012-2013 will be sent to the Select Council on Workplace Relations for approval before 30 June 2012. Another item discussed during the meeting was the workers’ compensation future work plan. Members agreed to a refined work plan on workers’ compensation to focus on reforms that are supported by states, territories, business, industry and unions. The next meeting is scheduled for 6 June 2012 in Sydney where the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012 – 2022 will be considered.

Safe Work Australia, 27 April 2012 ;http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au ;