WHS Committee Meeting 17 February 2017

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Friday, 17 February 2017 10.00 am
Parliament House, Room 1S2

Attendance Details


Name Representing
Joshua Manuatu Liberal Party of Australia
Helen Lewis Liberal Party of Australia
Sarah Panizza Liberal Party of Australia
Emma Harding (via teleconference) Australian Labor Party
Susanne Heath (via teleconference) Australian Labor Party
Kylie Brenton (Deputy HSR - via teleconference) Australian Labor Party
Miranda Broekman (Deputy HSR) The Nationals
Simon Kelly The Nationals
Elliott Westbury (via teleconference) Australian Greens
Felicity Redfern Office of the Special Minister of State
Marg Emerton Ministerial & Parliamentary Services
Bek Bjarnadottir Ministerial & Parliamentary Services
Kim Travers Community and Public Sector Union
Mary Vetere (via teleconference) Konekt


Name Representing
Kristian Nelson Independent Senators and Members
Hugh Eriksson Liberal Party of Australia
Steve Michelson Australian Labor Party
Melanie Beaumont Liberal Party of Australia

Meeting Minutes

Meeting opened: 10:05 am
Meeting chair: Bek Bjarnadottir
Meeting closed: 11:00 am

1 Welcome and apologies

Ms Bjarnadottir welcomed members to the WHS Committee meeting for MOP(S) Act employees and thanked them for their attendance.

2 Actions Arising from the Previous Meeting

Terms of Reference

Updated Terms of Reference, which were sent to committee members following the conclusion of the previous meeting, were accepted without discussion.

Information regarding workers compensation arrangements

Data requested during the previous meeting, was presented to the committee via email and was accepted.

Work Health and Safety Roles

The Department advised that details of offices with vacancies in all three WHS roles (WHS Site Officer, First Aid Officer, and Emergency Officer) would be sent to the relevant work groups’ HSRs immediately following the meeting.

Action Item:

Department to provide details of offices with vacancies in all three WHS roles (WHS Site Officer, First Aid Officer, Emergency Officer) to relevant work groups’ HSRs.

Consent to Advertise Contact Details

Ms Bjarnadottir indicated she still required consent from Emma Harding to advertise her contact details as a HSR.

Action Item:

Emma to provide written consent to the Department via email.

Guest Speaker to address the Committee

The Department is in discussions with Comcare to arrange a representative to attend the next meeting of the committee.

Action Item:

The Department to schedule a Comcare representative to attend the next committee meeting.

3 Staff Assistance Officer Training

The Department invited feedback regarding the recent Staff Assistance Officer (SAO) training attended by five HSRs. The Committee indicated that:

  • the facilitator was engaging and knew the subject matter well
  • the course content was not targeted specifically enough at MOP(S) Act employment and some of the content was not relevant to their workplaces.

A second session of the training was suggested and Ms Bjarnadottir sought an indication of interest in attending from the remaining HSRs and Deputy HSRs. Feedback on improving the second round of training included:  

  • Could the training be provided remotely/via teleconferencing?
  • Can the content be more tailored to MOP(S) Act employment?
  • When will the training be held?

Advertising of the SAOs names and contact details was also discussed. The committee indicated their preference to see a link to a SAO page on the M&PS website home page for ease of access for employees.

Action Items:

  • The Department will liase with the facilitator of the SAO training to discuss the content and possibile dates for delivery.
  • The Department will begin to advertise trained SAOs names and contact details via Monthly Management Reports & the M&PS Website.

4 Next Meeting

The Committee agreed that the next meeting will be held at Parliament House at 10:00am AEST on Friday 26 May 2017.