Media Release

26 September 2019

NSW Labor Leader Jodi McKay today called on the Liberal Government to properly enforce workplace safety laws across New South Wales.

Ms McKay said since the Coalition had come to office, the state’s work safety regulator had initiated fewer successful prosecutions, recovered fewer fines and penalties and inspected fewer workplaces, compared to Labor.

“There have been too many tragic workplace deaths this year, including four this month, with the latest just yesterday, in Botany,” she said.

“If you don’t regulate workplaces properly, if you don’t invest resources in necessary compliance and enforcement, then workers pay the price.

“This Government should hang its head in shame over its dereliction of duty when it comes to ensuring workplace safety.”

Under the Liberals, there has been a 46 per cent reduction in successful prosecutions under workplace safety laws, between 2017-18 (59) and 2010-11 (109).

There has been a 32 per cent reduction in fines recovered, from $6 million in 2010-11 to $4.1 million in 2017-18 and an eight per cent reduction in penalty notices issued, from 14,854 in 2010-11 to 13,703 in 2017-18.

Labor Leader in the Legislative Council and the Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations Adam Searle said the Berejiklian Government’s failure to rigorously prosecute work safety laws had sent the message that it was ok to cut corners and this had led to too many deaths in the workplace.

“One death is one too many and the stuff of nightmares,” he said.

“NSW workers should never lose their lives due to breaches of workplace safety regulations and this Government should ensure it is meeting its compliance and enforcement obligations. They have a statutory and moral obligation to protect workers” — Adam Searle MLC, Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations