A Provisional Improvement Notice (PIN) relating to poor air quality issued by a representative for the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Services (AQIS) to Australia Post has raised a jurisdictional issue for the Fair Work Commission (FWC) due to the absence of a mechanism for external review within the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth) (the Act).
Australia Post advised AQIS that the PIN had been removed on the basis it believed it had complied with the requirements of the PIN . Australia Post did not request a review of the PIN. In the event that a request had been made for review of the PIN, pursuant to Division 7 of the Act, an obligation would have arisen on Comcare to appoint an inspector to a make a decision to cancel, vary or confirm a PIN issued by a HSR that would have been reviewable.. The representative’s repeated requests for an internal review were not satisfied due to the fact that there was no decision to review.
The application to the FWC by the representative for an external review failed. Vice President Lawler found that WHS Act contains no mechanism for an external review where the addressee of a PIN does not seek a review of that notice, even if the issuer of the notice is justifiably dissatisfied with the addressee’s response to the notice.