Is Victoria cracking the codes to WHS? Recent post by Riskology
I’ve been watching with interest Victoria sinking their claws into the new laws saying they don’t want to commit to the harmonised laws anymore because of the cost, which will impact mainly small business.
The Victorian Treasurer, Kim Wells said during a budget speech 1st May 2012 that the ‘Government will not sign up to the current proposal for harmonised legislation for occupational health and safety. It offers little benefit for Victoria to offset the $3.4billion of estimated costs, the majority of which falls on small business. Victoria will continue to work towards best practice legislation’.
This doesn’t sit square shouldered with me. Firstly they have not released the Price Waterhouse Coopers report which outlines these costs, they have only released a summary, they will also miss out on $50million which the federal government would have given in funding and it also throws a big stake in the heart of the harmonisation goals.
Victoria as a state prides itself in saying they have the best safety laws in the country, but if the rest of the country are harmonising and Victoria is not, doesn’t this mean they are swimming against the progress of safety, I’ve always thought the KISS principle with safety worked, and harmonised laws were loosely aiming towards the KISS principle.
One of the bigger changes with the harmonised laws is the definition ‘officer’ which brings in the financial decision makers. So when a decision needs to be made about safety it doesn’t always get road blocked by the big man that signs the cheque. Isn’t the goal for harmonisation end of the day to save lives and reduce injuries, rather than closing the book when it passes under the bean counters nose? See the whole post here