Regulator News

Victorian news

Labour Hire Authority removes drug trafficker from labour hire industry

The Victorian Labour Hire Authority (LHA) has refused a labour hire licence application by Amatak Labour Services Pty Ltd. The LHA reviewed the application and found that the company's sole director, Nico Keat, had been found guilty of 12 offences relating to drug trafficking, theft, failure to answer bail, and suspected proceeds of crime and stolen goods, and was therefore not a fit and proper person to participate in operating a labour hire business. The Springvale South-based provider was supplying workers to industries including horticulture and was known to provide labour hire services in the Yarra Valley region. 

To maintain a labour hire licence all relevant people to the licence, such as company directors, must pass the fit and proper person test prescribed by the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018, which includes not being found guilty of certain offences and breaches. 

The decision followed eight other recent licence refusals for a range of reasons, including past breaches of OHS laws and awards and conditions.

Labour Hire Licensing Commissioner Steve Dargavel said, "Drug traffickers have no place running labour-hire businesses. "The job of the Labour Hire Authority is to make sure that Victorians can have trust and confidence in those who are responsible for the wages and safety of some of the most vulnerable workers in our community."

The mistreatment of labour-hire workers or unlicensed labour-hire activities can be reported to the LHA on its website or by phoning 1300 545 200.

National news

WA: resources and start date for WHS transition

The West Australian Government has confirmed that its version of the national model WHS Act will probably commence in January 2022 – pending the completion of three sets of underpinning regulations – in releasing resources to help duty holders prepare for the change.

The materials outline the main responsibilities under the new laws, the new consultation and worker representation provisions, and key changes to the enforcement regime.

The State Work Health and Safety Act 2020 passed Parliament late last year, implementing much of the model WHS Act and provisions recommended by national reviews. These additional provisions include those creating the offence of industrial manslaughter and prohibiting insurance against safety penalties. The resources include a message from the Hon Stephen Dawson, Minister for Industrial Relations (video and transcript). Source: OHSAlert

National Fatality Statistics  

Safe Work Australia has not updated its statistics on fatalities since August 19, at which time it had been notified that 73 Australian workers had been killed at work this year. The total numbers of fatalities have been in the following sectors:

  • 28 in Transport, postal & warehousing 
  • 11 in Construction
  • 8 in Manufacturing 
  • 7 in Agriculture, forestry & fishing
  • 5 in Arts & recreation services
  • 3 in Electricity, gas, water & waste services
  • 2 in Mining
  • 2 in Other Services 
  • 2 in Public administration & safety
  • 1 in Wholesale trade
  • 1 in Accommodation & food services
  • 1 in Education & training
  • 1 in Retail trade 
  • 1 in Administrative & support services

These figures are based mainly on initial media reports and provide a preliminary estimate of the number of people killed while working. Once the appropriate authority has investigated the death, more accurate information becomes available from which Safe Work Australia updates details of the incident, consequently sometimes the numbers of deaths in each sector change. Updated information is used to publish Safe Work Australia’s annual Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities report which includes finalised work-related fatalities from 2003 onwards. Note that the figures are based on preliminary reports, and so at times will change. To check for updates, and for more details on fatalities since 2003, go to the Safe Work Australia Work-related fatalities webpage

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