Australian Union Applauds OHS Change in Victoria

Australian Workers' Union

The safety of Victorian miners and oil workers would be further protected under new Victorian Government arrangements, the Australian Workers' Union said Friday.

AWU National Secretary Bill Shorten welcomed the Victorian Government's announcement that it would transfer responsibility for OHS regulation of the earth resource industries from the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) to the Victorian Workcover Authority (VWA).

"We are pleased that our members in these often dangerous industries are to benefit from having the same occupational, health and safety regulator as other Victorian workers," Mr Shorten said.

"This move by the Bracks Government means Victorian miners and oil workers and their unions will be able to call on the expertise and authority of a body whose specific purpose is to protect workers' safety."

AWU Victorian Branch Secretary Cesar Melhem said the new arrangements would also strengthen the appeal of working in the earth resource industries.

"Being able to rely on an independent body to investigate complaints and incidents will give workers more confidence, which in turn may help to retain and attract employees in what is a growing industry," Mr Melhem said.