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Barnett walks away from draconian workplace legislation, supports Labor

Labor will always fight for the rights of all workers to a safe workplace. 

Labor welcomes the fact that Minister Barnett has finally been forced to abandon his standalone draconian and unconstitutional legislation and instead adopt Labor’s proposed approach of strengthening offences in the Police Offences Act.

After six years of Minister Barnett using worker’s safety in a political game, we finally have legislation on the table that could see improved protection for workers against radical green protests.

Labor will always support the right to protest, but we don’t support any action that places workers at risk.

While we will be seeking to amend parts of the Bill before the Parliament to address what appear to be unintended consequences that go beyond the aim of protecting workers, we will support provisions that protect workers put at risk by radical green protests.

However, if the Rockliff-Ferguson Government were genuine about worker safety they would also provide additional resources to the critically underfunded WorkSafe and implement all recommendations of the independent Boland Report, including legislating for Industrial Manslaughter. 

Sarah Lovell  
Shadow Minister for Workplace Relations