TasCOSS does not support the Workplaces (Protection of Business and Workers) Bill 2021 or the proposed amendments contained within the Bill.
We urge the Tasmanian Government to consider alternatives to the Bill and engage in robust and meaningful dialogue with interested parties and groups to address the underlying issues driving the implementation of this legislation. If further legislative amendments are needed, our view is that this objective is best achieved either by introducing new offences into existing legislation (such as the power of attorney) or by engaging in further community consultation to adequately identify the needs of businesses and workers, and to present these findings to the community before proceeding with any further attempts to legislate in relation to these issues. We make this recommendation in light of the importance of the freedom of political expression and the significant detrimental effect any limitation of this right may have on our community.
Our principal areas of concern are the following:
- The Bill is unnecessary and introduces offences which duplicate those already found in existing Tasmanian legislation,
- The Bill is a disproportionate response to potential risks for industry and workers; and
- There is the potential for the Bill to have unintended consequences which may impact on the human rights of Tasmanians and community groups.