South Australia has introduced a Bill to amend the newly introduced WHS laws, to provide protection for individuals against self-incrimination.
The model WHS laws do not allow people to refuse to answer any questions from the regulator, even where it may incriminate them. This is contrary to criminal law conventions which allow individuals the right to silence.
The SA amendment will still require individuals to answer questions which incriminate the company.
Victoria remains the only state with clear protection against self-incrimination. WA requires individuals to answer all questions, but responses cannot be used in prosecutions against the individual. However, knowing the answers, regulators can easily seek confirmation from others who would be required to answer the questions.
To date, Victoria and WA are the only Australian jurisdictions which have not adopted the harmonised WHS laws.