Queensland Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations Jann Stuckey
Labor Neglect Leaves Volunteers Exposed
Victor P Taffa
Labor’s Lip-Service to Occupational Health and Safety (OH & S) concerns had put volunteers’ health at risk, the Liberal National Party said today.
Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations Jann Stuckey said volunteers were at risk of exposure to asbestos and other potentially serious hazardous material while cleaning flood-damaged homes and premises.
“Volunteers need expert advice on the potential risks they face and how to minimise those risks.” Ms. Stuckey said.
“There are simple precautions they can take but they do not guarantee to eliminate those risks entirely.”
“Labor were too slow in setting up a hotline to provide specialist advice to volunteers about what protective measures they can take and who will be liable in the event they become ill or require medical treatment.” Ms. Stuckey said.
Ms. Stuckey said she had warned on January 15 of the risks volunteers might face cleaning and had queried what arrangements were in place to protect them.
“A week later on January 22 Attorney General Cameron Dick announced he was setting up a hotline to deal with safety concerns.” Ms. Stuckey said.
“The hotline is a sham because it is simply being used to warn callers that volunteers and property owners remain liable to observe OH&S Laws.”
“This supposed help line is also being used to collect information on alleged safety breaches so prosecutions can be launched at a later date.”
“Volunteers need a Help Line not a Dob in Line.” Ms. Stuckey said.
“This should be an exercise in protection and prevention but once again it seems this incompetent Labor Government is more interested in protecting itself than protecting the selfless volunteers who have given so much to their fellow Queenslanders in need.” Ms. Stuckey said.