Legislation

Work Health and Safety

Update

  • In Queensland, amendments have been made to the Work Health Safety Act 2011 (Qld), which took effect in May, to reduce compliance costs for employers and right of entry provisions have been tightened.
  • Union right of entry is also being explored by South Australia’s Stewart-Crompton statutory review, as part of that state’s participation in the COAG-mandated review of the original model WHS Act which was to harmonise safety laws across all states and territories.
  • In Western Australia a version of the Work Health and Safety laws will soon be tabled in Parliament as a ‘green bill’ which will then
  • be released for public comment as part of a proposed three month consultation period.

Offshore Visas

  • Workers participating in an offshore resources activity were from 30 June 2014 taken to be in the Australian Migration zone. The effect was to entitle foreign offshore workers to minimum employment standards under Australian law.
  • In March this year, the Coalition sought to repeal the law before it took effect, however the measure was stalled in the Senate. The Coalition then attempted to amend the Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) to wind back the changes. However that bill was disallowed by the current Senate.
  • Finally, on 17 July, Michaelia Cash, the Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection issued a ‘determination’ under the Migration Act. This has created a special visa and the effect is to rewind the rules regarding offshore workers.
  • The Maritime Union has now mounted a challenge in the Federal Court to the Federal Government’s ongoing efforts to exclude offshore workers from Australia’s labour laws.