The resources industry has been warned it could face tougher restrictions if sexual harassment issues in the workplace aren’t addressed.
WA Minister for Mines and Petroleum Bill Johnston said the state government was committed to driving cultural change and it would not rule out new regulations if it doesn’t happen.
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“Clearly there has been improvement and it’s not enough yet,” he said at the launch of two anti-harassment programs to protect resource sector workers.
“If we don’t see (further) performance improvement then obviously government would have to act.
“Whilst there is still one person being the victim of sexual harassment that is not good enough.”
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Johnston said the industry would not attract female workers unless it cleaned up its act.
“If it doesn’t provide a respectful work environment women won’t come into the industry … and it will miss out on the skills and capacity women bring to industry,’‘ he said.
About 20 per cent of the resource industry workforce are women.
“But our view is that the industry is ready to change,” he said.
He said the government wanted to work with employers, contractors and workers to reduce harassment.
The resources industry faces a regulation crackdown from government if it doesn’t tackle sexual harassment in the workplace. Credit: 7NEWS
“We know that there’s a long way to go but we also know it’s not just about the resources industry, it’s about the entire community,” he said.
“When there is still disrespect (towards) women in the community, then I would think there will still be disrespect in the mining industry.”
His comments come amid news a new 24-hour helpline will soon be available for WA mine workers.
Victims and witnesses will be able to contact the dedicated 1800 number to report incidents anonymously to WorkSafe WA.
“This is all part of improving the circumstance in workplaces for women because that’s the only way forward for the industry,” Johnston said.
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