Funding granted to UnionsACT for research 3

Pages 13-14 of the Australian Capital Territory’s Hansard for December 14 2016 contained a curious discussion on work health and safety (WHS) funding.

The discussion was primarily looking for details on government funding of trade union WHS services. Rachel Stephen-Smith of the ruling Labor Party and responsible for workplace safety stated that part of the financial grant given to UnionsACT is for “undertaking research into work health safety”.  Alistair Coe, Liberal leader of the opposition sniffed a political opportunity and asked:

“…has any of the research which has been undertaken by UnionsACT actually been published?”

To which Stephen-Smith took the question on notice.

Such political and OHS-related vignettes are intriguing but largely overlooked, particularly when so close the Christmas/New Year break.

Safety research can be enormously expensive, especially if it is to be academically robust. The Secretary of UnionsACT, Alex White, has been contacted for further information on the research funding.

Kevin Jones

UPDATE: 31 January 2017

Alex White has advised that, as the above article has already been published, he won’t be commenting.


  1. Unfortunately Kevin, such matters are not available for an open forum such as this but I could give countless examples personally. Safety is so politicised in the Territory as much funding is available for training through the Training Levy.

    • Rob, I have no evidence of that but if you do, please let me know.

      I will be contacting the UnionsACT Secretary again next week with a further request for information.

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