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Activities of WorkSafe Tasmania Regulator

Parliamentary Activity - Thursday, 5 March 2020, Cassy O'Connor MP


Activities of WorkSafe Tasmania Regulator: Cassy O'Connor MP, 5 March, 2020

 

Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr GUTWEIN

On your watch Tasmania's Workplace Health and Safety Regulator has explicitly targeted the Bob Brown Foundation, the first time unlawfully, and the second attempt yesterday with a threatened $50 000 fine. As a result of your Government's politicisation of WorkSafe Tasmania, now Unions Tasmania has expressed no confidence in the regulator for targeting forest protesters while failing to protect Tasmanian workers. This is confirmed by our Right to Information request lodged in September last year to which we do not yet have a full response.

What we do have from WorkSafe is confirmation the regulator, under Mr Cocker, is not collecting data on whether an incident has resulted in death, serious injuries, serious illness or is a dangerous incident.

Do you agree this is utterly damning? We have a regulator pouring time and resources in trying to shut down peaceful protest while at the same time it has lost the confidence of the union movement and is clearly failing Tasmanian workers. Why have you not asked your Attorney-General to rein in this now highly politicised regulator and to ensure it does its job in protecting workplace health and safety?

 

ANSWER

Madam Speaker, that would be the lowest and nastiest attack I have ever seen on an independent regulator in this state, to be frank.

The WorkSafe Tasmania Regulator goes about his job as an independent statutory officer. He has taken a view as a result of a referral being received, not from the Government but from the private sector, wherever it has come from, taking a referral and then acting on it because, quite frankly, the activities we have seen from those workplace protesters employed by the Bob Brown Foundation puts them at risk -

Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Madam Speaker, and this goes to the Premier's credibility. He is pretending he cares about forest protesters -

Mr Ferguson - But what is the point of order?

Ms O'CONNOR - when he would not condemn the violent attack on Tarkine protesters the week before last so we should be more honest with the parliament.

Madam SPEAKER - Sorry, I don't think that is a point of order. Please continue, Premier.

Mr GUTWEIN - Thank you, Madam Speaker. The member for Clark, the Leader of the Greens, should be honest with the Tasmanian Parliament. She wants one standard for herself and another for others. That is what she wants. We support the WorkSafe Tasmania Regulator -

Dr Woodruff - Why are you politicising it?

Mr GUTWEIN - If people want to raise the issue of politicisation then let me remind you of the damning email that was read into this place about the Integrity Commission and their views on your actions.

Mr O'Byrne interjecting.

Mr GUTWEIN - It might be one point the shadow treasurer and I can agree on. That was the most extraordinary statement to say it did not mention the Greens. You are the only ones trying to table it in parliament.

Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Madam Speaker, relevance, standing order 45. We have asked serious questions about the regulator's capacity to protect the workplace health and safety of people in their workplaces in Tasmania while they are hunting down forest protesters.

Madam SPEAKER - Thank you, that is not a point of order.

Mr GUTWEIN - Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Woodruff - Put your efforts into TFS volunteers, why don't you?

Madam SPEAKER - Order, please.

Mr GUTWEIN - If the Leader of the Greens and member for Clark would stop this political witch-hunt then maybe the regulator could get on with their job.

Ms O'Connor - A political witch-hunt. What do you think your Government is doing to the Bob Brown Foundation?

Madam SPEAKER - Order, Ms O'Connor.

Mr GUTWEIN - Madam Speaker, the WorkSafe Regulator is going about his job and we support him. I urge the Leader of the Greens, the member for Clark, to stop attacking a statutory officer because that is exactly what she is doing - attacking a statutory officer going about his statutory responsibilities.

 

Tags: WorkSafe, Protest