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Archive for: March
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Cootes Transport has until 20 March to improve the safety of its trucks or its licence to operate in New South Wales will be suspended or cancelled.

New South Wales Minister for Roads and Ports has ordered the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) to direct Cootes Transport to show cause why its dangerous goods fleet should remain on NSW roads.

“I have lost confidence in this company as an operator of dangerous goods movements on NSW roads,” New South Wales Minister for Roads and Ports Duncan Gay says.

Since last month Cootes Transport fleet of 400 trucks has been undergoing a re-inspection after more problems were detected with brakes, steering, suspension and leaks in routine checks, Gay says.

Of the 320 trucks checked so far only 179 have passed without a formal warning or a defect notice.

RMS inspectors are deregistering unroadworthy trucks, Gay adds.

RMS has laid more than 300 charges against Cootes Transport since the crash on Mona Vale Road in the Northern Beaches of Sydney last October.

This week police charged the driver of the truck involved in the Mona Vale Road incident.

For more details, visit the minister.

Published on 13 March 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

The full bench of the Fair Work Commission has dismissed an employer’s submission that the commission has no jurisdiction to determine stop bullying applications for bullying that occurred before 1 January.

Since 1 January, under a new provision in the Fair Work Act 2009, workers who reasonably believe they have been bullied at work can apply to the commission for a stop bullying order.

On 9 January, Kathleen McInnes applied for such an order, alleging she had been subjected to bullying from November 2007 to May 2013.

Her employer, Peninsula Support Services Inc trading as Peninsula Support Services (PSS), submitted that the commission had no jurisdiction to hear the application.

The matter was referred to the full bench, and the Commonwealth, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ai Group and the Australian Council of Trade Unions were invited to make submissions. Ai Group and the ACTU made submissions, but the other two declined.

The employer and Ai Group submitted that the commission had no jurisdiction to hear and determine claims involving alleged bullying that occurred before the start of the new law because it would make the law retrospective.

The full bench disagreed , saying it was “not persuaded that entertaining an application” for a stop bullying order based on bullying behaviour alleged to have occurred before the start of the new law would make the law retrospective.

“When considering the question of retrospectivity the authorities draw a distinction between legislation having a prior effect on past events and legislation basing future action on past events,” the full bench said.

The application is back before Commissioner Peter Hampton for determination of the stop bullying order.

For more details, visit the summary decision and the full decision.

Published on 13 March 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.


Published on 27 November 2013:

After months of waiting, the highly anticipated Work Health and Safety Amendment Bill 2013 (WHS Amendment Act) was passed yesterday by both houses of the NSW Parliament. This gives the District Court jurisdiction over WHS prosecutions brought under the now repealed Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 (OHS Act).

This resolves issues encountered in Empire Waste Pty Ltd and Dean Baldwin v District Court of NSW and Inspector Brock, which challenged the jurisdiction of the District Court to hear matters that were previously heard in the Industrial Court of NSW.

The WHS Amendment Act also resolves problems raised in Attorney General for the State of NSW v Built NSW Pty Ltd, where proceedings were instituted by an unauthorised person, who was an employed solicitor of WorkCover and not the Inspector. Proceedings of this kind may now be brought by an Australian legal practitioner authorised in writing to represent an authorised person.

This Act ensures that various WHS matters are not quashed due to these technicalities. The process of clearing the vast backlog of 160 cases that have been held up will now begin.

Further information
For more information about the effect of these amendments, please see our previous alert or contact:
Carlie Holt, Partner  t: +61 2 9373 1412 | e:

Sparke Helmore Lawyers

NSCA are proud to partner with Sparke Helmore Lawyers. NSCA members receive exclusive discounted rates for expert work health and safety legal advice. For more information, please visit:

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