22 November 2011
of the Legislative Council
HEALTH AND SAFETY BILL 2011 (No. 59)
FINCH (Rosevears) - Madam
President, being a member of committee B I think that I have a vested
interest here in this debate.
FINCH - As I go back over
some of the details of what I have heard members say here and also
from the notes that I took at the briefing this morning I will see if
I can firm up a decision before I leave the lectern. I do also
appreciate very much the briefings that we had and the time taken,
the four-hour briefing that we had, so thank you very much, Leader,
for organising that. It was very detailed and a good opportunity to
get across the detail and arrive at an understanding of it. Stuart
Clues, Michael Kerschbaum and Rob Wallace were good representatives
of the industry and gave us some guidance in respect of where we
should go with this. I also appreciate very much the advisers and the
people from the Government who have worked hard on this. One of the
disappointing aspects that came through for me, and it must be for
you as you sit there and listen to our prognostications on this bill,
is that it has been over-consulted and all that -
Dean - Since 2008.
FINCH - Since 2008. You
go through this whole process and here you are at the last hurdle and
seemingly here we are dithering about and not getting on with the
job. This is the invidious position that the Government places us in.
We get placed here to deal with a bum's rush.
FINCH - That is okay,
isn't it? You get my point. You have heard that we have other
legislation that we are dealing with and here is a very substantial
piece legislation. It has been worked on over a long period of time,
as we have heard some three or four years, and then here we are given
it at this wrong time of the year for careful consideration. I do not
want to go into the details of the processes that I go about studying
legislation and dealing with it but with the way the mechanics of my
office work, I am behind the eight ball in getting the understanding
that we talk about, the full understanding of the piece of
legislation. I know I need more time if I am going to have a full
understanding, as the members for Murchison and Huon have challenged
us before to have a full understanding of these pieces of legislation
that we deal with. I would appreciate more time for gestation of this
bill in respect of the way we are going to deal with it, debate it,
talk about it, understand the nuances of it. There are some other
things about this too, in respect of the imperatives that the
Government might suggest that we have in respect of it. 'Oh, it is
about harmonisation, we are pulling in all the States, everybody is
going to get involved in this and we are part of the bigger picture'.
Dean - Could lose $4
million to $8 million.
FINCH - Then Stuart Clues
tells us that his industry is worth $2 billion - just the building
construction industry. That is really small beer. It is interesting,
isn't it, that the Federal Government throw these dollars out as that
little bit of a carrot.
Taylor - To the State
Government, not to the industry.
FINCH - That is right.
Forrest - To get the
minister's signature at COAG.
FINCH - Order.
PRESIDENT - Thank you.
FINCH - I am losing my
train of thought here, Madam President, but it is like these little
carrots that come in that really try to give us the imperative that
we have to push this through, that there is a big agenda here and
that we are part of the bigger picture. We want to be part of the
bigger picture but might make a mess of something and that is what I
am concerned about. If we get to rush this and then all of a sudden -
there are two States that are staying outside of this at this stage
that we have heard, Western Australia and Victoria, so it is not as
if we are going to be the odd one out.
Forrest - You have to ask
if some of that is political because you have State governments of
FINCH - I understand
that, but the point is we will not be the odd one out in respect of
this and I am concerned about -
Parkinson - Through you,
Madam President - there are seven jurisdictions continuing with it,
three have carried it and the other four have gone through I think
their lower Houses and only two have stayed it.
FINCH - Yes. We are still
in the state of flux and we are still dealing with it towards the end
of the year and I still suggest that, in due deference to the people
who have worked on this over the years, at a crucial time of the year
when things are busying up in all aspects of our work and our lives
and here we are looking to deal very quickly with a substantial piece
think I have made as much of a point as I need to with the
contributions from the other members, Madam President, but in respect
of it going to committee B I had better bring my mind to that aspect
of what we are doing here, and this is the first I have heard of it
that there might be a reference off to committee B. I am not feeling
very comfortable with that situation and I hear what the member for
Huon says in respect of substantial legislation going to committees.
I like the idea of that process but, with our new-found structures
that we have in place, we seem to be not clutching at straws but
saying, 'Is this a good idea? We might send this off.' If it was part
of an established process, I think that would be a much better way to
go but we seem to be cherry-picking here in respect of the
legislation that we shoot off to the committees.
do not feel it is a bad piece of legislation, from my cursory
interest in it at the moment and the way that it has been presented
to us and if it was in bad shape I could see why we would need to
have closer scrutiny of it. I would appreciate the fact that our
committee would be able to come together as a team and get our teeth
into something of substance to gel us a bit more as committee B but
at this stage I do not think this is the vehicle that we can use for
that substantial bonding process for our committee. I am about to
break into some football parlance here, I am sure.
do not think I am going to agree with the amendment but I think that
I would look to some sort of opportunity for us to have a bit more
breathing space to carefully look at the implications of the codes of
practice that are going to come in. I do not think there is any need
to rush this. I do not think there is any need for us to have this
taken to its conclusion in this session of Parliament. I will look to
what other members might suggest but I do not agree with the