INDEPENDENT NEWS

Govt turnaround on HSE Bill victory for National

Published: Fri 15 Nov 2002 12:16 AM
Roger Sowry National Deputy Leader
15 November 2002
Govt turnaround on HSE Bill victory for National
The Government's u-turn on prosecuting groups reliant on volunteers under the Health and Safety in Employment Bill is a victory for National, says National Deputy Leader and Labour and Industrial Relations spokesperson Roger Sowry.
Trevor Mallard has promised that the bill will be amended to exclude volunteer organisations from prosecution should a volunteer be injured.
"This legislation would make sports clubs and voluntary organisations liable for a $250,000 fine if a volunteer was injured whilst fundraising. This cost would send many of them to the wall.
"I have had hundreds of letters from every imaginable type of sports club, school and voluntary organisation from throughout the country since we raised the anomaly in this proposed legislation. They are worried that they will have to stop using volunteers, meaning an end to their fundraising activities.
"We will accept nothing less than total withdrawal of all voluntary organisations, be they sports clubs, church groups or the local school barbecue fundraiser, from this ridiculous legislation.
"The debate over this piece of legislation is not over. There are still many parts of this bill that are totally unacceptable to the National party, such as the proposed inclusion employer liability for stress.
"The Government fully intended that voluntary groups be penalised in this way, but it is pleasing that it has buckled under the pressure from National and the groups involved," Mr Sowry said.
Ends

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