There is significant evidence, including the ACTU’s Safe at Work survey results, demonstrating clearly that some key reforms to our Model WHS Laws are urgently needed. This Review presents a crucial opportunity for governments to work together to ensure that the Model Laws continue to achieve ‘progressively higher standards of work health and safety’103 and are effective in preventing death, injury and disease in Australian workplaces.

As outlined, the reforms proposed by the Review will streamline the operation of our WHS laws, promote the aims of harmonisation and deliver stronger health and safety outcomes in Australian workplaces, increasing certainty and clarity for workers, duty-holders and the community more broadly.

The ACTU calls on Australia’s Workplace Relations Ministers to accept all 34 of the Review recommendations, to instruct Safe Work Australia to amend the Model Laws accordingly, and to work with States and Territories to implement the reforms promptly in each harmonised jurisdiction.