Legislative Council: Thursday, March 21, 2024


Work Health and Safety

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI (Leader of the Opposition) (15:03): I assume the government has run out of its agenda. It doesn't even have any Dixers left. My question is to the Attorney-General regarding work health and safety issues. What feedback has the Attorney received from small businesses in regard to work health and safety issues they face in South Australia?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (15:03): I thank the honourable member for her question. We have a range of feedback regularly from employer and employee groups about how we can improve the safety conditions of people who go to work. I think it is a fundamental idea that when you wake up and go to work in the morning you should expect to come home safely at night.

We have made some very good changes in South Australia in this term of parliament to try to help and ensure that. We belatedly, and I think it was 20 years since it was first attempted in this state, and the Hon. Tammy Franks has been instrumental in a number of those attempts over the last decade or so in having industrial manslaughter laws in South Australia. That is one very targeted way—and hopefully a deterrent—to ensure that safety is improved.

We regularly meet with employer and employee groups to look at any ways we can help improve safety, and a lot of those do come in the form of SafeWork South Australia, the regulator, conducting campaigns in a whole range of areas where there is often deemed to be heightened safety risks or issues of concern.