The Queensland Parliament passed legislation that could result in senior corporate executives facing manslaughter charges over deaths in the workplace.

The legislation was a response to two deadly incidents in October last year.  Four people died at the Dreamworld amusement park when the Thunder River Rapids ride malfunctioned. And two workers were killed when a concrete wall fell on them at Eagle Farm Racecourse.

"We owe it to the victims of these tragedies and their loved ones to ensure Queensland has strong industrial manslaughter laws to protect people on the job backed by strong penalties for employers proven to be negligent," said Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace.  "It's simply not good enough that a company and its senior officers can negligently cause the death of a worker and evade justice due to the veil of corporate anonymity."

The opposition claims the new law was not needed because the current system is working:  "People are currently being prosecuted at the moment, the current laws are working," said Opposition Industrial Relations spokesperson Jarrod Bleijie.  "Make no mistake this is a union payback," he alleged.

But the Queensland government denies the allegation:  "This isn't about favoring unions as those opposite side claims, it's about saving lives and holding negligent employers to account," said Ms. Grace.