Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Monday, 13 October 2008
Page: 5823


Senator LUDWIG (Minister for Human Services) (7:44 PM) —I hate, as always, to disappoint the opposition. There is, of course, no legislative requirement for a bill to have an objects clause. Section 3 of the legislation tells the reader what the act is about and in that sense it could be drawn to be similar to an objects clause. Section 3 explains to the reader of the legislation that the bill will create Safe Work Australia, whose role will be to ‘improve occupational health and safety outcomes and workers compensation arrangements across Australia’. The Commonwealth, states and territories agreed to establish Safe Work Australia in the Intergovernmental Agreement for Regulatory and Operational Reform in Occupational Health and Safety, and the recitals to the intergovernmental agreement contain the aspirations of the parties, namely that the parties are committed to improving the health and safety of Australian workers. The recitals also recognise that the prevention of workplace death, injury and disease is an object of the OH&S laws of each jurisdiction.

The issue of ‘leading and coordinating’ in the language of the amendment does have that overture of taking us back to the ASCC; therefore I put the reasons forward as to why we do not need an objects clause in this particular piece of legislation. More importantly, what underpins it is the Intergovernmental Agreement for Regulatory and Operational Reform in Occupational Health and Safety, and within that is recognised the important work that this bill will do—that is, the prevention of workplace death and injury. I do note that the numbers in the chamber might be agin me, but I will wait to see what Senator Xenophon may do in respect of your amendment, Senator Abetz.