Unions Tasmania to host International Workers’ Memorial Day service and call on Premier to prioritise industrial manslaughter laws

27 April 2024

Workers and families will come together in Launceston tomorrow morning for the first of two services over two days hosted by Unions Tasmania to remember colleagues and loved ones who were killed or seriously injured by their employment.


Sunday’s service will take place in the Workers’ Memorial Park, a dedicated space established in 2011 following the work of a small but dedicated committee led by unions and family members who had lost a loved one at work. Unions Tasmania was proud to secure funding to complete the Park to its original design approximately two years ago, with work well underway to have it completed in the next 12 months.


The service will mark International Workers’ Memorial Day (IWMD), a day that is observed worldwide by unions and workers on 28 April each year. Unions Tasmania hosts commemorative services to show the families and colleagues who lost loved ones at work that they haven’t been forgotten, and to press for safer workplaces.


Tragically, over the last five years Australia has recorded on average 180 workers killed each year on the job. Every Australian jurisdiction apart from Tasmania has now moved or committed to create industrial manslaughter laws. The Rockliff Government continues to resist calls from the union movement and families to legislate them in Tasmania.


Unions Tasmania is also calling on the Rockliff Government to legislate for industrial manslaughter as a matter of urgency when parliament returns.


“More than a year ago, Work Health and Safety Ministers across the country voted to include an industrial manslaughter offence in our national model WHS laws. Every other Australian state and territory either has these laws operating or is in the process of implementing them,” said Unions Tasmania Secretary, Jessica Munday.


“Tasmania is now out of step with the rest of Australia. Tasmania’s work health and safety (WHS) laws need to include an industrial manslaughter offence that means employers are deterred from shirking their safety obligations and if a worker dies, there are real consequences including jail time and significant fines.”


Event details


When: 8:00AM Sunday 28 April 2024

Where: Workers’ Memorial Park, Elizabeth Gardens Invermay (near UTAS Stadium)

Speakers: Jessica Munday, Secretary, Unions Tasmania; Simone Haigh ASM, President, HACSU Ambulance Employee Sub-Branch; Rev. Jeff McKinnon, City Baptist Church; Guy Hudson, Matthew’s dad, safety advocate


For further information: Jessica Munday 0417 454 809