New Work Health and Safety Commissioner announced

Minister for Employment and Workplace Safety, Suzanne Orr has announced the appointment of Ms Jacqueline Agius as the new Work Health and Safety Commissioner.

“We are pleased that Ms Agius will lead the Office of the WHS Commissioner. Her appointment comes at an important time as WorkSafe ACT begins it’s new, independent journey,” said Minister Orr. “I would also like to congratulate Ms Agius as the first woman appointed to the role of ACT Work Health and Safety Commissioner.”

The Commissioner will be tasked with improving workplace safety standards and performance in the ACT and continuing to implement the 27 recommendations made in the 2018 independent review of the ACT’s work safety compliance infrastructure, policies, and procedures.

Ms Agius said she was looking forward to the challenge of leading WorkSafe ACT.

“This is an exciting opportunity to ensure that workers are front and centre of work safety in the ACT,” Ms Agius said. “Fundamental to a successful economy and fair workplaces is the right for workers to return home after a day’s work in the same state that they left home for work in the morning.

“I look forward to working with unions, business, workers and government to achieve this.”

Minister Orr said there were a range of priorities for the new Commissioner, including the development of an updated Strategic Plan and a Compliance and Enforcement Policy.

“Ms Agius’ strong record of achievement in work health and safety puts her in a good position to make significant change for the ACT,” said Minister Orr. “One of her first tasks will be the development of a Compliance and Enforcement Policy.”

“The policy will clearly articulate the way in which WorkSafe will operate, including its aims, approach and the key principles underpinning how it regulates. The policy will also outline the compliance and enforcement tools to be used by WorkSafe and the enforcement, investigation and prosecution criteria to be applied.”

Ms Agius will be appointed on 28 April 2020 for a five-year term.

Ms Agius currently works with the Australian Education Union, ACT Branch. She has academic qualifications in creative arts, education and law and has a strong record of achievement in work health and safety. She was also a member of the ACT Work Safety Council from 2016-2019.

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