Sparkies slam QLD Government over mining exemption to industrial manslaughter laws

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12 October 2017

Peak industry body Master Electricians Australia (MEA) has slammed the Queensland Government for its decision to exempt mining from its proposed industrial manslaughter laws.

The last-minute exemption for the mining sector comes after the Queensland Resources Council threatened to wage a campaign against the Palaszczuk Government at the looming Queensland state election over the proposed laws.

MEA Manager of Advisory Services Jason O’Dwyer said that the exemption made the industrial manslaughter laws even more farcical.

“By exempting mining from the legislation, an electrician who works in both mining and another sector will now be operating under two different sets of laws,” Mr O’Dwyer said.

“MEA is opposed to this legislation, however, if they are to go through we don’t understand why they are good enough for industries such as construction but not for mining.

“The only reason as to why the Government has made this exemption for mining is because we’re about to head into a state election and the Government doesn’t want to be subject to a campaign from the mining industry.

“This is nothing but a grubby deal from the state government in an attempt to appease the mineral industry.

“This exemption for the mining industry just makes what has already been a farcical process even more farcical and is nothing but a PR sham.

“Throughout this period the state government has consistently put politics before policy and the proposed exemption for the mining industry is just the latest example of this.”

Mr O’Dwyer said that the Government has consistently ignored all legitimate concerns put forward regarding the legislation.

“It’s amazing that the Government will listen to miners but will completely ignore legitimate concerns put forward not only by MEA but also from the Queensland Law Society and the Queensland Bar Association,” Mr O’Dwyer said.

“This Bill will reduce the civil rights of ordinary Queenslanders and give WHS Inspectors more power than the Queensland Police, all so that the State Government can please its puppet-masters in the CFMEU.

 “MEA firmly believes that this legislation will not prevent another Dreamworld like accident as there is nothing in the Bill that enables an employer to be prosecuted for the death of a member of the public. 

The industrial manslaughter legislation is expected to be voted on by parliament today and will likely be determined by the votes of several key crossbenchers.

Jason O’Dwyer is available for interview.
Contact The SAS Group on (07) 3221 9222 or 0467 792 013.

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