Sunshine Coast mayor Mark Jamieson.
Sunshine Coast mayor Mark Jamieson. Cade Mooney

Mayor wants relief from tough work safety legislation

SUNSHINE Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson has called for a rethink on the tight regulations surrounding workplace health and safety.

Cr Jamieson said removing the red tape was one thing the State Government could do to ease the burden on businesses in this year's Budget, to be announced in Brisbane today.

"My great hope for this Budget is the Government will provide incentives for business in limiting red tape," he said.

While Cr Jamieson firmly supported the need for workers to be safe, he questioned whether the Government had gone too far.

"As a council, for example, if we need to undertake work on a park or a footpath, there is an enormous amount of safety material involved," he said.

"It seems this was managed well before and perhaps a bit of common sense was involved."

Cr Jamieson said we should "try and create a resilient community which understands it has responsibility for its own safety and those around them".

"This is rather than having government at all levels second-guess every decision to make sure everything is safe," he said.

"This is pretty difficult to do and is an example of us, perhaps, living beyond our means, beyond what the public purse can tolerate.

"As a nation we need to stand back and have a really good look at it.

"Our foerbears survived quite well (without the rules and regulations). At the end of the day, people recognise they are paying for that.

"There is an element of waste in a tight environment.

"Common sense needs to prevail, if we spend more money to limit the risks, it is more cost to the ratepayer."

He said when machinery as involved, there was a need to have "stop-go attendants to prevent people wandering into a dangerous work area".

Caloundra Chamber of Commerce president Michael Shadforth also hoped the Government would look to reduce red tape.

"This costs businesses time in complying," Mr Shadforth said.

"This is not a budgetary issue, but will reduce costs."

Sunshine Coast 60s manager Joy Morwood hoped Treasurer Tim Nicholls would announce "more money for seniors and more money for community-based organisations".

However, she realised this was unlikely.

Cr Jamieson was also concerned the State Government was continuing to "cost-shift" to local councils.

"Flying foxes is one example (of government cost-shifting) and there are a range of others like that."


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