VIC calls for delay to new OH&S laws

18-10-2011

The VIC Government has called on the Federal Government to defer for 12 months the implementation of national occupational health and safety (OHS) harmonisation.

The WA Government has also called for the implementation date (January 1, 2012) to be delayed.

Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips says the Federal Government has not provided the information needed to assess fully the impacts of the national laws on Victoria.

Mr Rich-Phillips says details of the package are still not finalised, despite the proposed January 1 commencement date.   

“The Victorian Government supports the principle of OHS harmonisation, however we need to be able to assess the benefits and costs to Victoria, to ensure that the proposed package is in Victoria’s interests,” Mr Rich-Phillips said. 

“As the Commonwealth has not provided that information, the Victorian Government has

started work on a supplementary independent Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) to assess the impact of the proposed laws on Victoria. Victoria will not be in a position to proceed until a Victorian-specific RIS has been undertaken and evaluated. This is expected to take several months.  

“Delays have occurred in the Commonwealth finalising key parts of the package. The model regulations were released three months behind the agreed schedule and are still not finalised; the final National Regulatory Impact Statement was released four months behind schedule, and does not quantify the impacts on Victoria as promised; and the draft Codes of Practice have only just been released this week, and will be open for public comment until mid-December.

“A 12 month delay will allow these issues to be addressed, and provide businesses with a greater opportunity to prepare for transition.”

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