Support for national safety laws

The NSW Minerals Council believes a uniform set of OH&S laws will help to better protect Australia's mining workers.

The New South Wales Minerals Council has voiced its support for the decision by Australia’s Federal, State and Territory governments to agree on a national occupational health and safety (OH&S) framework.

“After years of debate, it’s great to finally see our governments supporting changes that will bring together a fragmented system in the national interest,” NSW Minerals Council chief executive Nikki Williams said.

“There is nothing more important than the health and safety of the men and women who work in our mines.”

The Model Work Health and Safety Bill aims to align OH&S laws across the country, as opposed to the differing state-to-state laws that are currently in place.

“The new national OH&S laws will achieve better health and safety outcomes for workers and reduce the burden of red tape on companies, especially those with operations across state borders,” Williams said.

“This overarching legislation should then be supported by mining specific regulations, guidelines and codes.”

Williams warns that if the NSW Government continues to consider the idea of state-specific laws it could ultimately be dangerous to the State’s mine workers.

“The NSW mining industry is of the clear view that state based mining specific OH&S laws are unnecessary and would compromise the breakthrough that has been achieved,” she said.

“It would be terrible to see the NSW Government snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, when worker safety is at stake.”

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