ACT News

WorkSafe ACT commissioner Mark McCabe resigns

ACT Work Safety Commissioner Mark McCabe resigned after eight years in the job this week.

Access Canberra head Dave Peffer said Mr McCabe had always intended to retire at some point this year, and had spoken with him on Tuesday night about his decision to do so now, with effect from April 15.

As well the job of Work Safety Commissioner, where he has played a key role in the Fluffy demolition program, Mr McCabe headed up construction, environment and workplace protection in Access Canberra.

Mr Peffer said Greg Jones and Leesha Pitt would share the responsibilities of running the construction division until a permanent appointment was made.

The commissioner job was to advise government and an appointment would be made in consultation with the government, probably within the coming days.

Mr McCabe, 62, had an extended period of leave at the end of last year, and more leave recently.

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Mr McCabe said the results of the Getting Home Safely report, commissioned by the ACT government after a string of accidents and deaths in the construction industry, was one of his biggest achievements.

"That report and the government's support for the recommendations for that report has led to a big turnaround in the safety record of the territory," he said.

"We had over a 20 per cent improvement in safety outcomes in the last 12 month period that was reported. That's pretty outstanding. I think that's an excellent platform for continued improvements into the future."

Mr McCabe said he had been thinking about retiring for "some time" and that much of what he had wanted to do as commissioner had been achieved or was in the works.

"I hope there'll be a continued focus on making our workplaces safer. We've made some really great improvements on work safety in the territory but I'd like just to set our sights on having the safest work places in the country. They're definitely safer than they've been but we've got a long way to go."

He planned to remain in Canberra and was "looking forward to just looking to something different than health and safety for a change", Mr McCabe said.

Industrial Relations Minister Mick Gentleman said Mr McCabe had transformed Work Safe into "a more trusted and customer-service focused regulator".

His work on Getting Home Safely had seen major improvements on construction sites, with no deaths since. He had got "more inspectors out to more construction sites, more often", and had introduced the 'Stop Construction Falls' campaign, which trained industry on safety.

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