Media Release

11 December 2020

Labor is calling for the creation of industrial manslaughter laws in NSW, with higher penalties including prison time so that rogue bosses are held accountable for workplace deaths. This would include the re-establishment of an Industrial Court in NSW where workplace safety laws would be enforced.

Labor Leader in the Legislative Council and Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations Adam Searle also committed to implementing reforms known as ‘Christopher’s Law’, which the Cassaniti family has been strongly campaigning for to ensure special protections for apprentices and young people entering the construction industry.

This announcement by NSW Labor is on the same day the defendant company in the Christopher Cassiniti matter is facing a sentencing hearing in the District Court. The tragic death of Christopher Cassiniti illustrates the need for these new laws.

Labor proposed changes to the State’s workplace safety laws following a spate of tragic workplace fatalities and injuries in NSW but were defeated in a close 19-18 vote in the Legislative Council in March this year.

Mr Searle said: “One death is one too many, and every worker should come home. We must take action to ensure workers are safe and rogue employers are held accountable.”

“The current laws are failing and a major overhaul of safety standards is needed. There must also be increased enforcement of those standards, because employers and other businesses that do the wrong thing must be held to account when someone is killed on their watch” — Adam Searle MLC, Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations

Shadow Minister for Consumer Protection Julia Finn said: “We need to develop a culture that supports workplace safety in NSW, not a culture that’s all about cutting corners and unsafe workplaces.

“Where employers create unsafe workplaces, and this leads to a worker’s death, those employers deserve to go to gaol. It’s as simple as that.”