Friday, April 19, 2024

Engineered stone use grinds to a halt

Commonwealth, State and Territory leaders have agreed to a national ban on the use of engineered stone at today’s Industrial Relations Ministers Meeting.

The ban will take effect in Queensland, along with the majority of state and territories from 1 July, 2024.

Queensland first put a proposed ban on the national agenda in 2018 in response to escalating health impacts on workers, including silicosis, caused by the use of engineered stone.

“Queensland is extremely proud to have led a national campaign which has culminated in a ban on the use of engineered stone,” said Industrial Relations Minister, Grace Grace.

“This is a dangerous product that’s known to cause the potentially fatal disease silicosis, and it has no place in our workplaces.

Industrial Relations Minister, Grace Grace.

“All workers have a right to turn up to a safe and healthy workplace and I’m proud to be part of a government which has helped deliver this key measure to protect workers.”

The Commonwealth Government today also flagged it will put in place a complementary customs prohibition on engineered stone to provide an additional layer of enforcement and deterrence at the border.

“Major retailers including Bunnings and IKEA have already announced they will phase out sales of engineered stone and I encourage other retailers to follow their example,” said Minister Grace.

“Queensland also led the nation in establishing labour hire licensing and I wholeheartedly welcome a harmonised national about hire licensing scheme.

“I want to thank commonwealth Workplace Relations Minister Tony Bourke and the Albanese Government for working with the States and Territories to deliver these important outcomes.”

At today’s meeting, Ministers also agreed to implement a harmonised national labour hire licensing scheme, with the draft intergovernmental agreement and funding to establish the scheme to be further considered by Ministers in mid-2024.

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