||Issue No. 262||06 May 2005|
Rights and Wrongs
Interview: Fortress NSW
Unions: Fashions Afield
Industrial: Pay Dirt
Politics: Infrastructure Blues
History: Big Day Out
International: Making History
Economics: The Fear Factor
Review: The Robots Revolt
Poetry: The Corporation's Power
The Locker Room
Della Opts for Gaol
Unions, whose members have campaigned for such sanctions for years, gave Industrial Relations Minister, John Della Bosca, a cautious thumbs-up after the legislation was unveiled.
The Carr Government moved after rallies of up to 10,000 people descended on Macquarrie St in the wake of workplace deaths.
Families of teenagers, Dean McGoldrick and Joel Exner, killed on building sites after being denied basic safety protections, played key roles in putting politicians on the spot.
So did widowed Mum, Andreia Viegas, whose husband Glen was killed, last October.
"I congratulate the unions - the AMWU and CFMEU - that have campaigned so long for this legislation," Viegas said this week.
"I also congratulate the government but it will be of no use at all unless we continue to have strong unions that can get into workplaces to make sure there are no more deaths and no more children without a father or mother."
Unions NSW secretary, John Robertson, said that while the bill wasn't perfect it was an important step forward.
"The real measure of success will be whether or not it saves lives in NSW workplaces," he said.
Della Bosca's Occupational Health and Safety (Workplace Deaths) Bill introduces five year prison sentences for employers found to be recklessly negligent over the death of an employee.
Individuals can be fined up to $165,000 while corporations may be fined up to $1.65 million.
Prosecutions under the legislation will be heard by the Industrial Relations Commission, in court session, and, in the event of a prison term, can be appealed to the court of Criminal Appeal.
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