THE wife of one of the two men killed in a Delacombe trench collapse in March last year says she is honoured to be included as part of an advisory committee to oversee funding for families affected by workplace deaths.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Saturday at the Labor Party State Conference he had invited Lana Cormie to become the first adviser to the $4 million 'families fund' package which is aimed helping families of workers killed get through the challenging days and weeks after a loved one has died.
READ MORE: Families unite one year on
It is part of a $10 million package designed to support proposed new industrial manslaughter laws which are currently being debated by state parliament.
Mr Andrews said the funding would go some way to helping families deal with the financial burden.
"Whether it's covering the cost of childcare - or helping out with urgent bills - this is about supporting families when they need it most," Mr Andrews said.
"To make sure it's focused on the needs of families, allocation of the funds will be decided by families. Lana ... we'd like you to be our very first advisory member."
Dr Cormie said a consultative committee was already working to assist families where they could.
"I'm thrilled to be involved," she said. "Everything that has happened with the government has been outstanding, particularly (Industrial Relations Minister) Jill Hennessy's team who has consulted with us over many months. (They are an) incredibly good team and very proactive."
In his speech to the party faithful, the Premier paid special acknowledgment to two Ballarat families who have each been touched by the death of a loved one at work.
"I will never forget what they told me: 'we can't let this happen again'. Delegates, we can't let this happen again," he said.
"We'll make sure that - if the worst does happen - families like the Cormie's and the Brownlee's get the support they so deserve."
The government's workplace manslaughter legislation, which carries jail terms of up to 20 years for bosses held responsible for the deaths of workers.
Mr Andrews also announced a new team of detectives from WorkSafe Victoria will investigate deaths at work as part of the package while family liaison officers will also be appointed.
"If someone dies at work, the site will be treated as it should be treated, it will be treated as a crime scene," Mr Andrews said.
This article "Industrial Manslaughter: Premier asks wife of trench victim to join advisory committee" (18 November) was initially accompanied by a photograph of a memorial to dead workers which depicted a Winslow branded excavator in the background. We wish to point out that Winslow has no involvement or association with the tragic incidents that are the subject of the article, and it was just by chance that the excavator was working on the site at the time the photograph was taken. If anyone understood the photograph as suggesting otherwise, we unreservedly withdraw any such suggestion and apologise for any confusion.
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