Passed: Work Health and Safety Amendment Bill 2013
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 This gives the District Court jurisdiction over WHS prosecutions brought under the now repealed Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 (OHS Act).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.
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: nsca.org.au/sparke.