The Queensland Government has announced that it will introduce a new criminal offence of ‘negligence causing death’. This announcement follows an interim recommendation made by Tim Lyons, the Independent Reviewer responsible for the review into workplace health and safety in Queensland, commissioned in response to two tragic incidents in October 2016. In the first incident, two construction workers were killed at the Eagle Farm Race Course after they were crushed by a concrete panel. Later the same month, four adults were killed on a ride at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast.
According to Queensland Employment Minister Grace Grace, ‘The Government’s support of this recommendation will mean that Mr Lyons can consult with stakeholders to determine the best practice model for introduction and implementation of the offence, rather than further considering the merits of its introduction.’ At this stage, the exact nature of the offence and whether it will be included in the Criminal Code 1899 (Qld) or the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) remains unknown.
The Independent Review is due to report to the Government by 30 June 2017.