Unions Tasmania, Australian Services Union maintain pressure on incoming Government for industrial manslaughter laws

By Unions Tasmania

27 March 2024

Unions Tasmania and the Australian Services Union (ASU) are maintaining pressure on the incoming Government for industrial manslaughter laws as Tasmanians wait for the outcome of the election to be finalised.

For many years, Unions Tasmania and our affiliates have campaigned for this important safety reform. The recent election campaign presented an opportunity to engage with parties and candidates about the need for these laws.

Unions Tasmania was pleased to receive commitments to legislate industrial manslaughter from seventeen candidates across Tasmanian Labor, the Greens, and independent members who are likely to be elected.

It is now time for the Liberal Party and Jacqui Lambie Network to commit to providing Tasmanian workers with the same safety protections as mainland workers.

Industrial manslaughter laws would encourage employers to take safety seriously and provide appropriate penalties such as significant fines and imprisonment for employers whose negligence or recklessness causes the death of a worker.

Tasmania’s safety record is poor. Eighty-five (85) workplace deaths in the decade to 2022. That is 85 individuals, families, and communities whose lives were devastatingly and irrevocably changed when a loved one did not come home from work. They deserve better.


Quotes attributable to Jessica Munday, Secretary, Unions Tasmania:

“We’re calling on the next State Government to implement industrial manslaughter laws as a priority in line with all other Australian jurisdictions.

We are the only jurisdiction across the country who has not implemented or made a commitment to implement these laws. There is no excuse.

An incoming Government must prioritise worker safety and legislate for industrial manslaughter as a matter of urgency.”

Quotes attributable to ASU Tasmanian Coordinator, Sam Batchelor:

“The tragic and avoidable loss of life in a workplace incident at West Coast Council last year underlines the importance of these laws.
The ASU believe the West Coast Council failed to ensure safe system of work and, in the days following the incident, focused instead on protecting its reputation.
The West Coast Council required employees to filter responses to WorkSafe Tasmania about the incident through Council lawyers which was completely inappropriate.
Greater capacity and greater deterrents may have ensured safe working practices and a response more focussed on the future safety of the workplace than the ASU has seen.
Every worker has a right to go home safe from work, but too often, that right is being ignored when workers are injured or killed at work.
The ASU was pleased to see so many candidates commit to industrial manslaughter in the Tasmanian election. But the work doesn’t stop here. The Liberals fell short of providing a commitment and we won’t give up until this becomes law.”


When: Today, Wednesday 27 March 2024
Where: Parliament Lawns, nipaluna/Hobart
Time: 12:30pm

For further comment: Jessica Munday 0417 454 809, Sam Batchelor 0459 228 612