The first major review of sentencing outcomes for OHS offences in nearly two decades is currently underway, following the Victorian Government's directive to the Sentencing Advisory Council to investigate sentencing practices for OHS offences and recommend reforms.
The Council has been tasked with delivering its final report by December 31, 2024.
On Tuesday, 13 February, the Council will release a consultation paper to gather community and stakeholder input. Additionally, it will publish a report detailing sentencing outcomes from the past 16 years up to 2021, including the amounts of fines imposed and their payment status.
The consultation paper poses several key questions:
- Are current sentences for OHS offences appropriate?
- Should larger companies receive larger fines?
- Should sentences be more severe if someone is injured or killed?
- How can victims' involvement in sentencing be improved?
The Council will assess whether sentencing practices align with community expectations. To facilitate this, it will host community conversation sessions across regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne in February and March. Participants will learn about current sentencing practices, hear about a real-life case, and share their views on the appropriate sentence for that case.
Starting February 13, the Council will also accept written submissions, and the public can participate in a short survey on Engage Victoria.
We encourage all HSRs to get involved.