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Mother calls for stricter industrial manslaughter laws in NSW in line with ACT form

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A New South Wales workplace safety support is calling on the state government to succeed the Australian Capital Territory and introduce industrial manslaughter.

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After her son Ben died at a construction site in Canberra in 2012, Griffith Kay Catanzarite’s woman has been pushing for better workers’ rights.

Last week, the ACT government passed industrial manslaughter laws. Individuals can now confront up to 20 years in prison and companies can be fined up to $17 million.

Catanzaretti said NSW needs to do the alike.

“I’d like to do a survey to see what the general public thinks will be a powerful deterrent in protecting our workers.”

Kay Catanzaretti
Kay Catanzaretti, outside the court, holds a picture of her son Ben.(

ABC News: Greg Nelson


Catanzaretti has called on New South Wales Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson to consider tougher laws.

“They need to do something to forbid deaths,” she said.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re in New South Wales, Australia; we’re all human, we’re all Australian.

In a statement, Kevin Anderson said the NSW government final year introduced legislation to make it easier to prove and persecute behavior in the workplace prior a grave injury or death occurred.

“This, along with tough unused penalties including up to five years in prison for the most grave crimes, is a powerful incentive for companies to actively improve workplace safety and forbid deaths and injuries,” he said.

Anderson says his government’s bill is “the strongest workplace regulation in the country”.

In the former decade, he said, there has been a 25 percent reduction in work-related deaths.

Introducing the opposition bill

In February, NSW Labor gave notice that it plans to reintroduce legislation on industrial manslaughter, following a failed attempt in 2019.

Opposition spokesman for Industrial Relations Adam Searle said the earliest bill likely to be discussed is beforetime September.

Citizens member for Tamworth, Kevin Anderson
Kevin Anderson argues that NSW laws are “the most powerful workplace regulations in the country”.(

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The government is not on board.

“The main issue I have with the opposition attempting to introduce industrial manslaughter is that it operates as a law retroactively, and it wasn’t triggered until following the worker died,” Anderson said.


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