Latest Australian Asbestos News

Safe Work Australia has developed model Asbestos work health and safety laws as part of an initiative of the Council of Australian Governments. This initiative demonstrates a commitment to improving the work health and safety of all Australian workers and enhancing productivity.

The Commonwealth and each state and territory government have agreed to harmonise their work health and safety laws (including Asbestos Regulations and Codes of Practice) so that work health and safety laws are similar in each jurisdiction.

The Model Work Heath and Safety Act endorsed by Workplace Relations Ministers Council is now availalable.

The MPMSAA meet with the ACCI who is facilitating an Asbestos Reference Group to review the the new regulation and code of practice and provide feedback to Safe Work Australia.  Mr Laurie O’Shea from the MPMSAA Asbestos Handling Advisory Committee and Rod Tresidder the MPMSAA OHS Officer participated and members of the MPMSAA were also encouraged to provide feedback.

Progress to date on Model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Laws

The Commonwealth, New South Wales, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory have enacted the provisions of the Model WHS Act commencing 1 January 2012.  

In South Australia, the new Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA) and the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2012 (SA) took effect on 1 January 2013.  23 of the model Codes of Practice will operate in South Australia from 1 January 2013. Click here for links to the legislation, Codes, transitional periods and fact sheets.

In Tasmania, the new Work Health and Safety Act 2012 and the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2012 came into effect in Tasmania on 1 January 2013.  The Regulations mirror the national Model Work Health and Safety Regulations. Go to WorkSafe Tasmania’s harmonisation webpage.  

In Western Australia, the WHS legislation  is awaiting finalisation of the core and non-core WHS mine regulations in order to have a complete legislative package. The date of implementation for the model laws in WA has not been determined and will need to be reassessed. Marsden Jacob Associates have been reviewing application of model WHS Act to WA, click here for further information. Click on this link for the Issues paper and a Table comparing the definitions under the existing and proposed legislation of key terms (workers, workplace and Person Conducting an Undertaking or Business). 

In Queensland, amendments have been made to Queensland’s work health and safety laws which came into effect on 15 November 2013.  Further extension of some transitional arrangements and the starting date of a number of un-commenced provisions in the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 to 1 January 2015.  This is to allow proposed changes to be reviewed by the Select Council for Workplace Relations.

In Victoria, The Victorian Government has confirmed that Victoria will not adopt the national model workplace health and safety laws in their current form.  National Workplace Health and Safety codes and guidance materials have no legal status in Victoria.  This means that Victoria’s workplaces need to refer to
Victoria’s codes and guidance materials for information about how to comply with Victoria’s occupational health and safety laws.

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