On 10 November 2020, the Work Health and Safety Bill 2019 was passed as the Work Health and Safety Act 2020 (WHS Act) and received assent. The WHS Act will replace the current Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984, and the elements of the following acts that relate to health and safety:
- Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994;
- Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967;
- Petroleum Pipelines Act 1969;
- Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1982; and
- Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Safety Levies Act 2011.
The WHS Regulations need to be finalised before the WHS Act can come into effect. Work on the WHS Regulations will progress through 2021. This means that workplaces have some time to become familiar with the provisions of the WHS Act. Transitional arrangements will also be in place to provide duty-holders sufficient time to adapt their safe systems of work to the new requirements.