Release type: Media Release


Mr Tom Phillips appointed Chair of Safe Work Australia Council


The Hon Julia Gillard MP
Minister for Education. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for Social Inclusion
Deputy Prime Minister

The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Julia Gillard, is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Tom Phillips AM as the Chair of the Safe Work Australia Council.

Following the recent Workplace Relations Ministers Council (WRMC) agreement on recommendations for model OHS legislation this is another important step in the Rudd Government’s reform agenda for a seamless national economy.

This clearly demonstrates the Government’s commitment to working cooperatively with State and Territory governments to improve occupational health and safety (OHS) outcomes by harmonising the disparate and inconsistent OHS laws across jurisdictions.

In April 2009, the Workplace Relations Ministers’ Council agreed to establish the Safe Work Australia Council to drive these reforms and harmonise OHS legislation through the historicIntergovernmental Agreement for Regulatory and Operational Reform in Occupational Health and Safety.

The Safe Work Australia Council is an inclusive, tripartite body comprised of 15 members, including an independent Chair, nine members representing the Commonwealth and each State and Territory, two representing the interests of workers, two representing the interests of employers and the Chief Executive Officer.

Mr Phillips has considerable experience in OHS through his work as a presiding member of the SafeWork SA Advisory Committee, which advises on OHS standards, policy and legislative matters and promotes OHS education and training.

With over 30 years experience as a leader in Australian business, Mr Phillips’ most recent position was Chief Executive Officer of Mitsubishi Motors Australia Ltd.

Mr Phillips holds board member positions with several not-for-profit organisations and private companies including WorkCover Corporation of South Australia, Australia Post, South Australian Training and Skills Commission and the Development Council for the Salvation Army (SA).

In December 2002, he was named South Australia’s Businessman of the Year.

The Safe Work Australia Council will play a pivotal role in realising the Government’s commitment to work together with State and Territory governments, employers and employees to achieve the harmonisation of OHS laws.

Further information on Safe Work Australia and a full biography on Mr Phillips are available at