Thursday, 24 November 2011
Work Health and Safety Bill 2011, Work Health and Safety (Transitional and Consequential Provisions) Bill 2011; In Committee
I think there are two issues that I need to address at this stage. The first is in relation to a regulatory impact statement. As I mentioned, this was an independent regulatory impact statement. It meets the conditions set out by the Office of Best Practice Regulation. Indeed, those were provisions that were established by the former Howard government that relate to the process of doing a proper impact assessment, and this has been conducted.
I indicated previously to Senator Abetz that the basis of that assessment was indeed the harmonisation as consistent with the model bill. To be clear about my earlier comments, the point that I made was how less a value might be ascribed to variances is obviously going to depend on the nature and the extent of those variances. Small changes—in New South Wales, for instance—may have next to no impact on that assessment of $2 billion. What will have a significant and large impact will be if states do not proceed down this path of harmonisation. On that point, I would encourage Senator Abetz if he wants to assist the government in ensuring we get the full $2 billion per annum in savings that he encourage his state colleagues in Victoria and Western Australia to proceed with harmonisation.