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Wednesday, 7 February 2001
Page: 24204

Mr Bevis asked the Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business, upon notice, on 30 October 2000:

Is he able to say what is the current position of the Federal Government and each State and Territory Government in relation to ILO Occupational Health and Safety Conventions (a) C139 Occupational Cancer, 1974, (b) C148 Working Environment (Air Pollution, Noise and Vibration), 1977, (c) C155 Occupational Safety and Health, 1981, (d) C162 Asbestos, 1986, (e) C167 Safety and Health in Construction, 1988, (f) C170 Chemicals, 1990, (h) C174 Prevention of Major Industrial Accidents, 1993; and (i) C176 Safety and Health in Mines, 1995.

Mr Reith (Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

Australia has not ratified any of these Conventions. Australia's treaty-making policy, adopted in 1996, requires compliance to be established prior to ratification of a treaty. This principle reflects usual practice in relation to ILO Conventions, in that they are considered for ratification by Australia only when law and practice in all relevant jurisdictions is in compliance with the provisions of the Convention and when all State and Territory governments that have an interest in the Convention have formally agreed to ratification.

The Commonwealth, States and Territories demonstrate varying degrees of compliance with each of the Conventions listed in the question. Compliance by all jurisdictions would have to be established, and formal agreement to ratification obtained prior to any consideration by the Commonwealth Government of ratification.