Skip to content
Industrial Relations, Political

Poll shows overwhelming support to criminalise industrial manslaughter in NSW

Unions NSW 2 mins read
As the NSW Parliament considers new laws that would see industrial manslaughter attract a 25 year gaol term, new polling shows overwhelming support for the reform, especially in regional and rural NSW.

***The polling will be released at a rally of unions and advocates this morning at Martin Place, between Macquarie Street and Phillip Street from 0830.***

NSW is the last mainland state without an industrial manslaughter offence. Since the Parliament last considered a private member’s bill to deal with industrial manslaughter more than 125 people have died.

Pyxis Polling & Insights interviewed 2,040 NSW voters between 9-15 May 2024, finding over two-thirds (68%) of respondents support NSW Labor’s plan to introduce industrial manslaughter as a specific offence. Only 9% oppose the legislation, while 23% remain undecided.

“When a worker doesn’t return home it is a life-altering trauma for their loved ones,” Unions NSW Secretary Mark Morey said. “The people of New South Wales want corporations and CEOs held accountable for workplace deaths. It is simply unacceptable that workers continue to lose their lives due to negligent and unsafe practices. Industrial manslaughter laws will deliver justice for victims and their families."

The survey reveals widespread support for the legislation crosses social, political and geographic divides, with 70% of men and 65% of women in favour. Regional areas showed higher support at 70%, compared to 66% in metropolitan Sydney. Among Coalition supporters, 62% back legislation while support is even higher among Labor voters (72%), Greens (76%) and Other voters (67%).

An overwhelming majority - 76 per cent - were surprised NSW doesn’t already have specific laws on Industrial Manslaughter already. 

“The fact more than three quarter of voters were unaware industrial manslaughter is not currently a specific crime in NSW highlights the urgent need for change,” Morey said. “All members of parliament should listen to community concern and pass these laws."

NSW voters also support proposed penalties, with 62% of respondents saying they are appropriate. Even when informed that the financial penalties would be higher than any other state, 59% remained comfortable with NSW having tougher penalties. And 61% said there should be no statute of limitations.

More than one third of voters (36%) said they would be less likely to support their local MP if they opposed the laws.

Safe Work Australia figures show 51 workers died in NSW in 2022 – the highest nationally.

Unions NSW analysis of Safe Work data shows that for the past decade NSW has lost at least one worker a week in a workplace fatality - higher than any other state in the country.


Total (2013-2022)

Average per week




























Legislation will be considered by the NSW Parliament in the week beginning June 3. In addition to jail terms of up to 25 years, civil penalties of up to $20 million will also apply. 

Contact: Nick Lucchinelli 0422 229 032 

More from this category

  • Education Training, Industrial Relations
  • 13/06/2024
  • 15:48
Independent Education Union of Australia NSW/ACT Branch

Reinforcing the right to disconnect for school staff

Thursday 13 June 2024 Reinforcing the right to disconnect for school staff The Independent Education Union rejects a push by employer groups to limit the right to disconnect for teachers and support staff in independent schools, submitted to the Fair Work Commission this week as it reviews modern awards. The Association of Independent Schools (AIS), which represents employers in over 300 schools, is pushing for teachers and support staff to remain available after hours. The independent schools sector includes not just the big, well-known institutions, but also smaller schools including faith-based, ethnic and alternative schools. “Teachers and school staff are…

  • Contains:
  • Industrial Relations, Oil Mining Resources
  • 13/06/2024
  • 14:57
Mining and Energy Union

Six-month lifeline for Eraring coal deal welcome but uncertainty remains

The Mining and Energy Unionwarns that workers at Myuna and Mandalong coal mines still face an uncertain future, despite a short-term deal struck between Origin Energy and Centennial Coal to keep supplying coal as part of a six-month extension. In May, the NSW Government and Origin reached an agreement to extend the operating life ofEraring Power Station until 2027. Northern Mining and NSW Energy District President Robin Williams said that while theMEU welcomed the announcement, workers would still find themselves in the same position in six months’ time. “Workers are hopeful that a longer-term arrangement can be reached considering that…

  • Industrial Relations, Oil Mining Resources
  • 12/06/2024
  • 16:10
Mining and Energy Union

MEDIA ALERT: Coal mine safety conference in Mackay 17 to 21 June

About 60 safety representatives from across Queensland’s underground and open cut coal mines will gather in Mackay from Monday 17thto Friday 21thJune to discuss emerging issues, share experiences and learn from experts in the field. The annual Mining and Energy Union (MEU) Queensland Site Safety and Health Representative (SSHR) Conference is an important training opportunity for those at the front line of safety. MEU Industry Safety and Health Representative (ISHR) Jason Hill said worker-elected mine safety reps on site play a crucial role in protecting the lives and wellbeing of their workmates and are highly motivated to continuously improve their…

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.