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OH&S Bill shelved



THE draft Bill that proposed five-year jail terms for employers found guilty of breaching the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OH&S) has been shelved by the Carr Government.

Last week Industrial Relations Minister John Della Bosca said more changes would have to be made before the Workplace Fatalities Bill could be introduced.

While it is unclear whether increased jail terms will remain a tenet of any new draft legislation, the government did accept recommendations from a panel of lawyers to scrap plans to introduce an offence of 'industrial manslaughter'.

Yesterday Opposition leader John Brogden and NSW Nationals leader Andrew Stoner accused the Carr Government of backing down in its efforts to pass the legislation since it was released for public consultation last October.

Member for Clarence Steve Cansdell, pictured, went one step further, labelling existing OH&S laws flawed and said the Nationals would fight in parliament to have them reviewed if the Carr Government failed to do so first. But claiming support from the NSW State Chamber of Commerce, the Carr Government insisted its drafted Bill would not disadvantage all employers but would target 'the cowboys whose disregard of basic safety laws results in death'.



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