Bligh Labor’s IR Minister Cameron Dick was shamefully silent on the impact of national work safety laws on tens of thousands of volunteers across Queensland.
LNP Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations & Employment Skills Ted Malone said Mr Dick had foolishly rushed to sign-up to new Federal laws that redefined volunteers as ‘workers’ – making them liable in the eyes of the law to workplace laws.
“Cameron Dick has lost his tongue,” Mr Malone said.
“He is keeping quiet because he knows the mess he’s created by backing these ridiculous federal laws – where any breaches from January 1, could result in individual volunteers facing fines up to $300,000 and up to five years’ jail.”
Mr Malone said it was incredible, when thousands of volunteers had walked from organisations such SES and Rural Fire Service, that a government to make life even harder.
“There’s been no proper consultation and certainly nothing from Cameron Dick on how he intends to protect our volunteers from litigation.
“What this tired, 20-year Labor government has done is sign on the dotted line without a thought for the full implications.
“These community-minded people are not paid workers – they’re volunteers. The last thing we need is more of our hard working volunteers to be frightened off by Labor and these crazy workplace laws.
“The LNP is committed to safe workplaces through fair and workable laws that provide certainty. But we must ensure that commonsense prevails with volunteer organisations.
“It’s time for change. It’s time to get Queensland back on track.”