NSW opposition launches WorkCover petition

The NSW opposition has launched a petition against the O’Farrell government’s changes to the state’s workers compensation scheme.

The WorkCover overhaul – which includes capping benefits and medical expenses and axing claims over journeys to and from work – was passed into law last week despite vehement opposition from the opposition and trade unions.

Opposition Leader John Robertson has vowed to fight the government on the matter all the way to the 2015 election.

“Last week Barry O’Farrell passed draconian laws in the dead of night that broke the safety net for virtually every injured worker in NSW,” Mr Robertson said on Wednesday.

“I issue an invitation to every injured worker.

“Sign Labor’s petition and join our campaign.”

The state government says the WorkCover overhaul is necessary to rein in a $4 billion deficit in the scheme.



10 Responses to “NSW opposition launches WorkCover petition”

  1. The question was asked why there’s no e-petition:

    @NSWLabor @JRobertsonMP Clarification please: In 2012 you want people to print a PDF petition, sign it and fax it back to you? #digitalage— WorkCover Watch (@WorkCoverWatch) June 28, 2012

    workcovervictim June 28, 2012 at 2:10 pm
  2. I’m surprised there isn’t an online petition about this. If there is can someone please point out the link?

    • Why aren’t the transport unions getting involved?
      How many times have we seen Bus Drivers on the news following assaults, rocks thrown at them etc etc. Don’t these unions care about their members?
      Transport workers drive this country yet their unions have not participated in any rallies and I cant say I have seen them in the media defending their Members.

  3. The media is starting to pick up a lot of injured workers’ stories, which is fantastic. We all ought to write down how the new nazi bill will affect us!
    A Hunter Valley man, injured while at work, has described how he has had to fight to hang onto his family home and fears for his future under reforms to workers compensation.

    Chris Davey suffered a debilitating back injury at the Tomago Aluminium smelter in 2009, and is still undergoing rehabilitation.

    He today met the Opposition Leader, John Robertson who is in Newcastle to launch a campaign against the changes to workers compensation, which will see substantial cuts to benefits.

    Mr Davey says his family has struggled under the existing scheme, but he will now be worse off.

    “We’ve battled on four different occasions to save our house,” he said.

    “We’ve borrowed all my super, I have no more super, we’re now basically surviving on these payments.

    “My wife can’t work because of our little kids, we’re down to no wage, just supported by the workers comp weekly benefits, and those benefits to be taken away will mean loss of everything.”

    The Government says the reforms will encourage private sector investment and provide more generous benefits to the most seriously injured workers.

    But, Mr Robertson is vowing to fight the changes.

    “It’s going to mean the difference between paying the mortgage, putting food on the table and being left destitute,” he said.

    “These changes cut benefits to weekly payments, they cap medical expenses.

    “They are going to see workers who want to get on with going back to work stopped from doing so, simply because the O’Farrell Government has implemented these changes retrospectively.”


    workcovervictim June 27, 2012 at 10:14 pm
  4. Where is the link to this petition…

    Andrew Miller June 27, 2012 at 9:36 pm
  5. WorkCover reforms created ‘two standards of workers’

    The NSW government has created “two standards of workers” by exempting emergency services personnel from controversial WorkCover reforms, the state opposition says.
    click here
    The workers compensation scheme overhaul, which caps benefits and medical expenses for injured workers, formally passed parliament just before 3am (AEST) on Friday morning.

    After a day of angry protests, amendments were made to the legislation that provided exemption for firefighters and other emergency services workers.

    Opposition Leader John Robertson has welcomed the exemptions, but says all workers should have been treated the same.

    “Nurses, retail workers, construction workers (and) truck drivers… all deserve the same protections if they’re injured at work,” Robertson told reporters in Sydney.

    “There are dangerous jobs and what Barry O’Farrell has done is set up two standards of workers.”

    The last minute amendments to the bill came after about 800 firefighters in Sydney, Newcastle and the Central Coast walked off the job in protest on Thursday.

    “What we saw yesterday was those workers confronting the reality of being treated as second class citizens,” Robertson said.

    Robertson said the Labor opposition would continue to pursue a campaign against the new laws in the build-up to the next state election.

    “We will go to the election with a comprehensive policy on workers compensation,” he said.


  6. ‘‘An expert report to the committee that investigated this said the real costs lay in insurance companies saying ‘no’ to claims from the start, and their hostile claims management system sending people to doctor after doctor,’

    Sound like my case and many many others

  7. WorkCover cuts made a ‘difficult situation even harder’: Robertson

    EXCESSIVE insurance company profits and hostile claims management were the real reasons behind any blowout in workers’ compensation scheme costs, state opposition leader John Robertson said in Newcastle this morning.

    Meeting in Civic Park with former Tomago Aluminium employee Chris Davey and building worker Stephen Shedden – both seriously injured in workplace accidents – Mr Robertson said the O’Farrell government’s WorkCover cuts made a difficult situation even harder for injured workers.

    ‘‘An expert report to the committee that investigated this said the real costs lay in insurance companies saying ‘no’ to claims from the start, and their hostile claims management system sending people to doctor after doctor,’’ Mr Robertson said.

    He said the WorkCover cuts affected private sector and public sector employees alike.

    ‘‘These laws completely terminate benefits to large numbers of injured workers after 2.5 years, and to many others after five years, even if their injury is permanent and they cannot return to work,’’ Mr Robertson said.

    He said it was a cost-shifting exercise, pushing more and more injured workers onto disability pensions or the dole.

    Mr Davey – who told his story of spinal surgery to the Newcastle Herald earlier this month – said his life had been ruined by his workplace accident.

    Mr Shedden said he was hit from behind while driving his boss’s car and it was unclear whether such cases would be covered under the new laws.


    workcovervictim3 June 27, 2012 at 7:06 pm