Tough workplace laws in wake of Dreamworld tragedy up for review

Queensland’s tough workplace health and safety laws, strengthened in the wake of the Dreamworld and Eagle Farm tragedies, will be reviewed to ensure they are working effectively.

Aug 18, 2022, updated Aug 18, 2022
Shareholdeds are planning a class action against Dreamworld's parent company Ardent Leisure. (Photo: ABC)

Shareholdeds are planning a class action against Dreamworld's parent company Ardent Leisure. (Photo: ABC)

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said robust health and safety laws were critical to protecting workers by ensuring worksite operators are held accountable.

“Every single worker in Queensland has a right to be safe in the workplace and to return home safe and healthy to their families and loved ones at the end of the day,” the minister told parliament on Thursday.

Queensland’s workplace laws were overhauled in 2017, making industrial manslaughter an offence and establishing the independent office of the Work Health and Safety Prosecutor.

The overhaul followed the 2016 deaths of two construction workers at Brisbane’s Eagle Farm Racecourse, and of four people at the Dreamworld theme park on the Gold Coast.

“It’s time to ensure Queensland’s laws remain robust, effective, and enforceable,” Grace said.

The three-person review board will be assisted by leading academics in work health and safety regulation.

“It will also have a strong focus on consultation with stakeholders including industry groups, employers, registered industrial organisations, the legal profession, academics, and government agencies,” Grace said.

Interim findings are expected in November before the final report later in the year.

“I look forward to receiving the report and any recommendations to strengthen our nation-leading work health and safety laws for workers in the state,” the minister said.

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