An integral part of our advocacy work is to be “the voice” of our members and the wider civil industry in representing their interests to key stakeholders including the 3 tiers of Government, their Department’s & Agencies.
At present, we are actively working on two key pieces of legislation, either gone before the State Parliament, or about to go before the house for debate and adoption. The CCF Victoria Board has identified these two critical issues as major concerns that will impact on the continued viability (and potential closure) of commercial SME operations in the civil construction industry. These cannot be mitigated through current insurance and similar schemes, with Company Directors now being held directly to account for the actions of their employees.
1.Environment Protection Amendment Bill (2018)
CCF has been working closely with the Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) over the last 12 months on the development of guidelines supporting the introduction of new legislation under the Environment Protection Amendment Bill (2018), which will come into effect on 1 July 2020. The Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA), working with the Department Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP), have now released exposure drafts of the subordinate legislation and Environment Reference Standards 2019 for public comment by 31 October 2019.
The CCF Victoria Board has instructed the CEO to make a submission by the due date on the proposed regulations and supporting Regulatory Impact Statements. This includes the proposed Environment Reference Standards (ERS) and supporting Impact Assessments.
2. Workplace Manslaughter Legislation (2019)
In February 2019, CCF Victoria developed a position paper on the proposed introduction of Industrial Manslaughter Legislation by the State Government. Formal correspondence was presented to the Attorney General, the Hon Jill Hennessy, and also Shadow Industrial Relations Minister, Nick Wakeling. A further meeting with the Shadow Minister is set for 21 October to co-incide with the next CCF Victoria Board meeting.
In our submission, CCF stated that it will support any initiatives that will help to create safer workplaces in Australia. The State Government established a Workplace Fatalities and Serious Incidents Reference Group as part of a new Implementation Taskforce. Our intelligence reveals that this work in now completed and a Bill is being drafted for tabling in Parliament before the end of 2019.
The political reality of the parliamentary number-crunching tells us that with the Andrews Government having a clear majority in the Victorian Lower House and what appears to be a majority following on this issue in the Upper House, it seems likely to have the numbers required to make good on its promises for change on Workplace Manslaghter.
CCF recognises, the Andrews Government’s non-negotiable stance on the introduction of this new legislation. However, we believe that the Opposition and Cross Benches in the Upper House “hold the key” and can influence the details within any proposed legislation and we are committed to ensure that members’ interests are protected relating to those details.
3. What has CCF done?
In addition to the development of our position papers and CCF representation on select Advisory Groups, I have recently instructed legal advisors, Lander & Rogers, to prepare a paper on behalf of CCF Victoria in relation to the proposed workplace manslaughter offence. This will be used in our representations to State Opposition and Cross Benches on the draft regulations and any proposed amendments.
In addition, Lander & Rogers are preparing a legal issues paper for CCF Victoria in relation to the Environment Protection Regulations Review in preparation for its public comment submission at the end of this month.
4. What can you do as a CCF Member?
CCF Victoria has committed in excess of $30,000 in funds in ensuring your views are represented in regards to these two key pieces of legislation. These funds have not been budgeted for in the 2019/20 financial year and are being expended through the State Branches existing cash reserves, as approved by the Board.
Therefore, it is proposed by the CCF Victoria Board that a 2019/20 Marketing Fund be introduced to support our on-going work in this regard on your behalf. Donations may be made directly to CCF Victoria via the attached link and include the following tiers:
Amount (inc. GST)
All donations by CCF members will be duly acknowledged and published in the next edition of the CCF Bulletin (2020 Summer Edition).
We would like to acknowledge and thank the following CCF members who have kindly made contributions to the Marketing/Survivor Fund:
- Rokon Pty Ltd
- Maw Civil Pty Ltd
- Case Victoria
- Newnham Earthmoving Pty Ltd
- Comdain Infrastructure
- Sandridge Roads Pty Ltd
- Landmark Contracting Pty Ltd
- Civilworx Constructions Pty Ltd
- R.S. Connel & Sons Pty Ltd
- NL Drainage
- Geelong Kerbing
- MFJ Constructions Vic Pty Ltd
- State Plant Hire Pty Ltd
- EI Engineering
At CCF, we are committed to representing our members’ interests by engaging with the Government to ensure that any new laws targeted at safety, are workable, proportionate, fair, and support continuing collaboration on workplace safety to avoid unintended outcomes.
Further contributions to the fund can be made by clicking here.