It’s a busy week in committees again with a WHS bill, silicosis and animal cruelty under the spotlight.

PC 1 looks into the WHS Amendment (Review) Bill 2019 

This week, Portfolio Committee No. 1 – Premier and Finance held a hearing for its inquiry into the provisions of the Work Health and Safety Amendment (Review) Bill 2019. The bill amends the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 to expedite implementation in New South Wales of 12 proposals based on recommendations of a national review of the model Work Health and Safety Act.

This hearing gave the committee an opportunity to hear directly from Patrizia and Robert Cassaniti whose son Christopher died in an accident on a Sydney construction site in April last year. The committee also heard from unions, industry and the NSW Department of Customer Service and examined issues including the possible inclusion of an industrial manslaughter provision, the relative success in prosecuting gross negligence verses recklessness, and the best mechanisms for deterrence in order to achieve safe workplaces in New South Wales.

A focus on silicosis

Today the Law and Justice committee continued its 2019 Review into the Dust Diseases Scheme with a public hearing. The committee has used its regular oversight review of the scheme to focus on silicosis in the manufactured stone industry.

At its hearing today, the committee again took evidence from icare and SafeWork NSW, who both appeared at previous hearings, as well as Safe Work Australia. Further evidence from these regulatory agencies rounds off discussions on key issues raised during the inquiry, such as medical screening, the use of control measures, and regulatory enforcement of safety standards, ahead of the committee drawing its final conclusions and recommendations to the NSW Government.

The committee’s report is expected to be tabled by the end of March.

Hearings into animal cruelty begin

Tomorrow and Thursday, the Select Committee on Animal Cruelty Laws in NSW will hold its first hearings for its inquiry. Invited witnesses to attend across the two days of hearings include: government officials, RSPCA NSW, the Animal Welfare League, in addition to panels of representatives from the following fields: legal, companion animals, agriculture and primary industry, and animal welfare advocacy. Read more online.


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