Retired Supreme Court judge to carry out review of SafeWork NSW
The NSW Government has appointed retired Supreme Court judge The Hon. Robert McDougall KC to carry out a review of SafeWork NSW.
Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government Victor Dominello said Mr McDougall previously reviewed iCare and SIRA in 2020-21 and would now turn his attention to the operations and culture of SafeWork NSW, the State's work health and safety regulator.
"NSW Parliament passed legislation in 2015 to abolish WorkCover, and replace it with iCare, SIRA and SafeWork NSW as three separate entities,” Mr Dominello said.
“SafeWork NSW is the only one of those three entities that has not been independently reviewed since the reforms. For that reason, a review of the operations of SafeWork NSW is now appropriate.
“This review will look at issues raised in recent weeks and provide the Government with independent insights that will be both powerful and instructive.”
Department of Customer Service Deputy Secretary and Head of SafeWork NSW Natasha Mann also expressed her support for an independent review to be carried out by Mr McDougall.
“SafeWork NSW plays a vital role in protecting the health and safety of workers in NSW,” Ms Mann said.
“It is important we ensure SafeWork NSW is performing its role as the state’s workplace health and safety regulator as effectively as possible.”
Mr McDougall's review will consider the operations, culture, and governance of SafeWork NSW.
It is separate to the NSW Auditor-General Margaret Crawford's performance audit in 2023.
Mr Dominello said while he welcomed SafeWork NSW being added to the NSW Auditor-General's audit program in 2023, the Auditor-General was not expected to hand down her findings until late 2023.
“Mr McDougall’s review provides an opportunity to get started now and can more fulsomely cover issues such as culture than is possible through the performance audit,” Mr Dominello said.
Further information on Mr McDougall's review into SafeWork NSW, including the terms of reference, timeline and process for making submissions will be available shortly.