The Palaszczuk Government is delivering on an election commitment, announcing a forum will be held in Brisbane next week to investigate how Queensland’s judicial processes can be made more transparent for the families of workers injured or killed at work.
Treasurer Curtis Pitt said he had been moved by the campaign of Jason Garrels’ parents, a 20-year-old man killed in a workplace incident on a construction site in Clermont.
“I’ve sat down and met with Michael and his wife Lee and promised to make this happen, so it gives me great pleasure to announce Michael will be working with us and giving a voice to families who have suffered the agony of a workplace death,” Mr Pitt said.
“We made a promise to provide better support for the families of workers who have been injured or killed at work and we are now embarking on that reform process.
“Our Victims’ Families’ Forum will help change the judicial process for industrial work deaths by making it more transparent for those directly affected.
“The forum will include our safety ambassador Shane Webcke, whose father died working on a farm and safety advocate Bill Martin, whose son Tim was electrocuted at work.
“I also want to thank Dan and Debbie Kennedy for agreeing to participate in our forum, after their son Dale was electrocuted while installing data cables for CCTV at Bentley Park college in my own electorate of Mulgrave.
“These people all know firsthand the added anguish that comes with dealing with the authorities and court system while grappling with the trauma of losing a loved one.
“The Victims’ Families’ Forum initiative is the first of its kind and an election commitment the Palaszczuk Government is delivering on.”
The first task is to set up a consultative committee to ensure genuine and ongoing support for workers and their families, as well as providing an outlet for their concerns.
To guide this a forum will be held on June 2 to look at:
•Existing government consultative and response mechanisms and support structures for families and workers
•Existing research into the needs of families and workers impacted by workplace injury and fatality
•Where the committee should be placed within the Government to be most effective
•Who should be on the committee.
“I have personally thanked Michael for his commitment to helping us make Queensland workplaces safer and to provide better support for the families of workers who injured or killed on the job,” Mr Pitt said.
“I want to commend Michael and Lee for their bravery in those dark hours and finding the strength in their grief to want to make Queensland workplaces safer for all of us.”