Price waterhouse Coopers report "shows" WHS laws a burden on Victoria, but where is the report?

The Victorian Government and the Federal Opposition claim a new impact statement shows a mirror WHS Act will cost Victoria's small businesses billions of dollars in transitional and compliance costs, but neither has made the report available for public scrutiny.

The State Government announced in September last year that it would commission an independent regulation impact assessment of the model Work Health and Safety Act - before it considered whether to introduce a mirror Bill - because Safe Work Australia's RIS "does not quantify the impacts on Victoria as promised".

The PricewaterhouseCoopers report, "released" today, "shows" the proposed laws would cost businesses $3.44 billion over five years, and small businesses would incur between 74 and 78 per cent of the transitional and ongoing costs, Federal Shadow Workplace Relations Minister Eric Abetz said.

"This report shows once and for all that small business will bear the burden of these rushed laws," he said.

Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu was quoted in The Australian newspaper this morning as saying the impact statement showed the reforms "would take Victorian business backwards and impact severely on the productivity of the State's small businesses".

The proposed laws do not deliver on the intent of the COAG reform agreed to in 2008, which aimed to reduce the cost of regulation and enhance productivity and workforce mobility," he reportedly said.

A spokesperson for Baillieu said early this morning that she would email a copy of the PricewaterhouseCoopers impact statement to OHS Alert.

However, at the time of writing she had not provided the report and had not returned OHS Alert's follow-up calls.

A spokesperson for Abetz said he hadn't seen the report.

In other news, the next COAG meeting will be held tomorrow in Canberra.

Thursday, 12 April 2012 3:09pm