National Occupational Respiratory Disease Registry Bill 2023

Speech on the National Occupational Respiratory Disease Registry Bill 2023

It's my pleasure to follow the member for Robertson. I don't for a moment suggest having the medical knowledge he does, but that's what good government is about. Good government is about listening to our medical experts, listening to our workers' representatives in the form of unions and ensuring that we are ahead of the game rather than playing catch-up. So I rise today to commend this bill to the House.

This bill is about establishing a registry that will act across the country on work sites as an awareness campaign. It raises the issue. It gives it a national profile. We're legislating this because we want to stop the practices that are seeing silicosis increase in numbers. We know that, for instance, engineered stone is a cause. So this registry will help assist GPs and the medical industry. Bringing in the register will also mean that we can measure what we care about, and that is workers' health, so that we can put further preventative measures in place through legislation if required.

I join my colleagues today in commending this bill to the House. I commend the government for taking action on something that is impacting workers across Australia and, I know, Victoria. At what cost is an engineered kitchen benchtop? The answer will be in this register. My response is: it's too expensive. People's lives are much more important than a fancy kitchen benchtop.

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