MUA appears at Senate Committee Inquiry into industrial deaths in Australia.

Sydney Assistant Branch Secretary Paul Garrett joined the Senate Inquiry into industrial deaths in Melbourne to speak about the tragic death of Tim Macpherson in Barangaroo. 

Whilst the ACTU spoke to a comprehensive paper on necessary regulatory changes, the MUA spoke on the events surrounding the death of Tim Macpherson at the construction of the Barangaroo Ferry Hub on 1 March 2017.


The statement spoke about, amongst several other points, failures in the procurement process of government contracts, the company obstructing right of entry, regulators not being resourced by way of actual numbers of inspectors or legislative support, AMSA missing several opportunities to attend to deficiencies on the crane barge and the apparent delay in prosecution by SafeWork NSW and the slow moving coronial inquest.

Senators present were Gavin Marshall (ALP – Victoria), Deborah O’Neil (ALP - NSW), Catryna Bilyk (ALP – Tasmania), Lucy Gichuhi (Liberal – South Australia).

Questions put to the three of us following statements included:

  • Senator Marshall seeking our opinion on whether Government should play a stronger role in WHS compliance as part of the procurement process.
  • Senator O’Neill seeking views about whether small and medium businesses getting more attention from the regulator than larger corporations who get an apparent lower number compliance checks.
  • Senator Gichuhi seeking views on whether the penalties current in place were adequate.
  • Senator Bilyk asked questions about jurisdictional issues of regulators across state lines and directed a question on AMSA
  • Senator O’Neill asked about families and mental well-being to get on record the ongoing impacts that workplace fatalities have on workmates and the family.

All in all, whilst the time allotment was brief, we got a good hearing.


The MUA’s Paul Garrett joined with Michael Borowick and Sophie Ismail who gave evidence for the ACTU.