The Hon. JAN BURNSWOODS: Will the Special Minister of State and Minister for Industrial Relations inform the House about safety issues in the building industry?
The Hon. JOHN DELLA BOSCA: As I said in a previous answer, earlier this week I attended the construction industry awards for best practice in occupational health and safety. Some very good news has emerged from the construction industry: the occupational health and safety measures initiated by this Government have developed and achieved a 31 per cent fall in injury and disease in the construction industry over the last five years—that is, fewer people are being hurt at work. The improvement is especially pleasing as it occurred during the biggest boom in construction industry activity in Australia's history: the lead-up to the Sydney Olympic Games. However, the rate of fatality, injury and disease remains unacceptably high. A major report on the construction industry, "Safety Building New South Wales", has been produced by WorkCover.
The report details the results of New South Wales initiatives to improve occupational health and safety practices. The report provides a blueprint for further improvement in the way the construction industry manages workplace safety. WorkCover has also produced a construction safety kit, which was launched this week. It contains 12 occupational health and safety management tools to provide assistance to business. They include safe design, hazard management, contractor management, line management training and performance measurement. Through these initiatives the Government will continue its successful effort to reduce accidents, injuries and disease in the workplace. Injury numbers are falling and the severity of injuries is reducing. Yet workers compensation costs and claims are rising. It is further reason for members opposite to assist the Government's efforts in this regard.
The Hon. MICHAEL EGAN: If members have further questions, they might like to place them on notice.
Questions without notice concluded.
[The President left the chair at 1.03 p.m. The House resumed at 2.30 p.m.]