Safety a factor for mining after IR changes

Some legal industry and mining company operators have told WA Business News that the new section seems to be “a little bit more payback to the unions”.

Chamber of Minerals and Energy chief executive Tim Shanahan said principals should keep the right, particularly on safety grounds, to control who subcontractors brought onto sites.

“Mines are complex environments. We need to have safety standards that are adhered to,” Mr Shanahan said. “There has been a significant reduction in workplace injuries on minesites over the past eight years that the current IR system has been in place. We believe that should be allowed to continue.”

Clayton Utz consultant Gavin Fielding said the new section posed a big potential threat to mining companies.

“Mining companies are now at the risk of having the WAIRC tell them who they can and can’t employ on their sites,” Mr Fielding said.

Blake Dawson Waldron partner David Parker said the new section signalled a significant change to IR law.

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