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Commonwealth, state and territory governments in Australia are in the process of harmonising their work health and safety regulatory regimes. These harmonisation efforts are the most concerted yet but, like previous attempts, the current approach relies on the cooperation of all nine governments and will not guarantee harmonisation. Inconsistencies may arise in how governments initially adopt national model instruments (an Act, regulations and codes of practice), and how they administer and enforce work health and safety legislation. In this article we explore how Australian governments can best ensure harmonised regulatory regimes. We examine the current approach to harmonisation and propose ways to strengthen harmonisation efforts; with regard to the processes for implementing and maintaining, monitoring and evaluating, and overseeing and ensuring harmonised regimes. After considering each of these aspects in turn, we set out two alternative approaches to improve the prospects for harmonisation.
Bluff, 2012, 'Harmonising work health and safety regulatory regimes', Australian Journal of Labour Law, 25, 2, 85-106