Northern Territory Attorney-General Natasha Fyles
Industrial Manslaughter Laws To Be Enacted By End Of The Year
Victor P Taffa
Northern Territory Government will introduce industrial manslaughter laws in the September Sittings, with the view to have them debated by the end of year.
Should these laws be passed by Parliament, industrial manslaughter will be an offence in the Territory by the end of the year.
“Rates of deaths and injuries at Territory worksites have been too high for too long.” Attorney-General Natasha Fyles said.
“These laws will help protect Territorians at their place of work, and mean employers are on notice about unsafe practices and sites.”
This offence will ensure all businesses, regardless of the business size, face the same level of penalty if reckless or negligent conduct has caused a workplace fatality.
Currently, only individuals can be charged with manslaughter for a workplace fatality under the Northern Territory’s Criminal Code. This means an individual operating a small business as a sole trader can face a maximum penalty of life in prison, however there is no equivalent penalty for a body corporate.
Maximum penalty for an individual is imprisonment for life whether the individual is prosecuted under the existing or new manslaughter offence.
Once enacted, the Territory joins Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory as the only jurisdictions to have an industrial manslaughter offence. Offence will not be applied retrospectively.
Introduction of the Work Health and Safety Legislation Amendment (Industrial Manslaughter) Bill 2019 is also a key recommendation from the Best Practice review of workplace health and safety in the Northern Territory conducted by Mr. Tim Lyons.