As flagged in our update of 19 June 2015 titled State of Play - Australian Work Health and Safety Laws, the Western Australian government has now commenced a consultation process on the proposed consolidated Work Health and Safety (Resources) Bill. A Consultation Paper has been published that includes a call for stakeholder responses to targeted questions and in relation to the bill generally. Interested parties are invited to attend a forum on Thursday 23 July 2015 and otherwise have until 14 August 2015 to make written submissions.

Background

In 2014, a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) process was undertaken by Marsden Jacob Associates to consult stakeholders on the options for the structure of resources safety legislation and, subsequently, to decide upon recommended actions. The Decision RIS was finalised in January 2015, recommending the unification of safety legislation for mining, petroleum and major hazard legislation, under one regulator, the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP).

The proposed consolidated Work Health and Safety (Resources) Bill (WHS (R) Bill) will consolidate safety provisions from six Acts including the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994 (WA).

Public consultation period commences on proposed WHS(R) Bill

Although a formal draft of the WHS (R) Bill is still being prepared, the WA government has now produced an indicative version of the proposed Bill and engaged Marsden Jacob Associates to manage the next consultation process.

Marsden Jacob Associates has prepared a Consultation Paper which can be found, together with a copy of the proposed Bill on its website here.

The Consultation Paper includes details of the key changes that are included in the current proposed Bill and a series of questions on the objectives, costs and benefits and commencement of the changes.

Stakeholder responses to the questions and generally on the proposed Bill can be made by email until 5.00pm (Western Australian Standard Time) on Friday 14 August 2015.

Next steps

In order to permit comments to be made in person a stakeholder forum will be held on Thursday 23 July 2015.

Following the consultation process Marsden Jacob Associates will prepare a report for the Minister for Mines and Petroleum and it is anticipated that a Decision RIS on the proposed Bill will be published on the DMP's website by November 2015.

This consultation process presents a great opportunity to have your say on the direction and content of the work health and safety laws applying to resources industries in WA.