The ACTU and affiliates welcome the establishment of a National Occupational Respiratory Disease Registry. The purposes of the National Registry outlined in Section 13 are comprehensive and appropriate and have the potential to dramatically improve our collective response to preventing occupational lung disease.
The expansion of purposes of the National Registry to assist with compliance and enforcement activities in relation to occupational health and safety matters is particularly pleasing. This is an important change and provides an opportunity to implement the National Dust Disease Taskforce Recommendation 1.b that:
Greater priority be given to work health and safety monitoring and compliance activities where workers are at risk of exposure to respirable crystalline silica.
The requirement on the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer (CCMO) to publish annual reports on certain statistical information will provide access to data previously unavailable to the public including those with duties of care e.g. employers and those who are responsible for ensuring compliance with relevant laws, i.e. state and territory regulatory agencies.
The recommendations we make are to strengthen the Bill and ensure that the purposes of the Bill are able to be realised.