Australian Parliament Passes Legislation on Workplace Safety and Workers' Compensation

The Australian Parliament has passed legislation that supports the Australian government's plans for achieving national consistency and greater uniformity in both occupational health and safety and workers' compensation programs.

The bills are the Australian Workplace Safety Standards Bill (2005) and the National Occupation Health and Safety Commission (NOHSC) Repeal Bill (2005).

The Workplace Safety Standard legislation formally recognizes the Australian Safety and Compensation Council, which replaces the NOHSC.

The council's membership will include representation from employer and employee groups as well as state and territory governments. The council will provide leadership in coordinating occupational safety and health and workers' compensation programs and in delivering greater consistency in outcomes nationally.

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Kevin Andrews acknowledged the valuable contribution of those NOHSC members and employees who were involved in the commission during its 20-year history.

The new council will build on the achievements of NOHSC in the area of occupational safety and health and also include workers' compensation.

The Commonwealth of Australia will provide the funding for the council.

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