The NSW opposition has launched a petition designed to reignite debate about workers’ compensation

It sounds like the fight is on.  I hope so and I wholeheartedly support the NSW opposition’s aim to get more than 10,000 signatures to re-open the debtate on these atrocious laws.


The petition can be found at

The NSW opposition has launched a petition designed to reignite debate about workers’ compensation.

THE state government is cutting WorkCover compensation payments to some public service staff, including cover for injuries sustained on the way to and from work.

Nurses and other hospital staff are among those facing cutbacks, but firefighters have won exemptions following last month’s industrial action. Police are also exempt.

Opposition leader John Robertson on Thursday said he hoped to get 10,000 signatures on the petition to force the government to debate the laws again.

“This legislation has been passed, but that doesn’t mean this fight is over,” he told reporters in Sydney.

The opposition leader was speaking outside the Royal Prince of Wales Hospital, flanked by a dozen nurses said to be affected by the changes.

“We’re aiming to get more than 10,000 signatures on this petition so we can see a debate,” Mr Robertson added.

“The O’Farrell government needs to stand up in the parliament and justify these changes.”

Mr Robertson suggested some government MPs were uncomfortable about the cutbacks when they were last debated.

The government last year promised to debate any subject raised in a petition to parliament carrying 10,000 or more signatures.

39 Responses to “The NSW opposition has launched a petition designed to reignite debate about workers’ compensation”



    Within days of the NSW government passing controversial legislation severely cutting back the rights and entitlements of workers injured at work, a fork lift tipped over at Sydney markets killing the driver.

    It was one more statistic for the bookkeepers at WorkCover. Their latest annual statistical bulletin records 139 deaths related to work in 2008/09 – 75 killed in the workplace, 24 from diseases as a result of employment and 40 while the person was driving to or from work.

    Workplace fatalities were up 42 per cent on the previous year. Deaths among workers aged under 25 were up 25 per cent, mostly in vehicle accidents. But overall deaths in the workplace are well down on 10 and 20 years ago.

    In 2008/09 more than 133,000 workplace injuries were reported to WorkCover.

    The good news is that major injuries have declined steadily over the previous 10 years. Overall payouts for injured workers were well down on previous years. Claims for permanent disability were down 42 per cent on 10 years earlier.

    So while the government has been insisting it cut back workers compensation as payouts are out of control, claims for workers compensation are actually on the way down.

    Yet the O’Farrell government has brought in a series of cutbacks to the workers compensation scheme that will hurt some of the most vulnerable members of our society.

    The new scheme, which is retrospective in that it applies to claims made before the laws were passed, caps weekly compensation payments at five years for all but the most severely injured workers. There is a time limit on the payment of medical expenses.

    Fewer people will be eligible for lifetime and lump sum payments because the threshold for serious injury is increased to 30 per cent “whole person impairment.” A worker whose foot was amputated would not meet this new threshold.

    A fierce fightback by firemen and lawyers managed to force some concessions. Firemen and paramedics were included at the last minute in the professions exempted from the cutbacks such as police. Some claims for injury during driving to and from work were reinstated.

    Lawyers warned the changes would hurt the most vulnerable members of the community. Australian Lawyers Alliance NSW president Jnana Gumbert said the changes will throw many work accident victims into great financial difficulty and hardship.

    “It is simply not true that payments to workers need to be reined in as they had gotten out of hand. The truth is that the Global Financial Crisis and poor handling of claims by insurers are the main reasons behind the financial bleeding of the system. Once lump sum damages claims were mostly replaced with weekly payments in 2002, it was inevitable that the annual cost of the scheme would eventually blow out” she said.

  2. Thats right we do need to stand up, the firies showed how its done and all workers should do the same thing. Watch Barry freak if his precious surplus blows due to strike action.

    • I have read everything i can find in regards to legal challenges, strikes and any other plans to fight these changes. Can’t find anything concrete – there is mention of the retrospective changes being against legal principles and talk of not ruling out strike action but does anyone know of any actual plans.

  3. These laws are just so wrong ,they effect everyone not only the injured workers now but the people who could be hurt at work in the future .We need to stand up united as one and fight against these barbaric laws.I can only hope that one day Barry has a accident at work and is given the same shit treatment as we are getting now .How did this piece of shit get voted in ,lets make sure it does not happen again .

  4. Emu Heights family man could be stripped of his compo

    ALL Miso Trifkovic wants is to get back to work and be well enough to watch his two girls play soccer.

    But Mr Trifkovic, of Emu Heights, struggles to walk on uneven ground and needs a walking stick to keep his balance, after he broke his leg and ankle in 13 places in a severe car accident driving to work five years ago.

    He has had multiple operations and still has three months’ rehabilitation ahead of him, but adding further stress to his recovery is the news that changes to the WorkCover scheme could strip him of compensation.

    The Workers’ Compensation Amendment Bill cuts cover for injuries sustained on the way to or from work. A number of other changes, including access to lump sum payments if a person sustains less than 11 per cent whole body damage, will also affect workers with injuries sustained before the Bill was passed.

    Mr Trifkovic is unable to return to labouring in the near future, and now faces a struggle to recoup the costs of his medical expenses.

    So new were the rules that a judge had to detail the changes to Mr Trifkovic and his solicitor, Lamrocks’ Steve Groves.

    “You do everything right, you play life by the rules, and something like this happens and you ask ‘why me?’,” Mr Trifkovic said.

    “We had no information about the changes, and it was only through the media that I realised I could be affected, even though my accident was years ago.

    “I’ve got bills, groceries, kids’ school expenses and now I’m not sure where I stand. Where’s the fair go?”

    The Workers Compensation Amendment Bill 2012, passed on June 22, was introduced by the state government in an effort to rein in WorkCover’s $4 billion deficit.

    Penrith solicitor Steve Groves, from Lamrocks, says while Premier Barry O’Farrell has denied that the changes would be retrospective, an injured worker who did not claim his or her lump sum before the amendments came into effect may no longer be entitled to it.


  1. Help needed: NSW Opposition leader hopes to force further debate on workers comp » The Injured Workers Support Network - September 7, 2012

    […] We wholeheartedly support the NSW opposition’s aim to get more than 10,000 signatures to re-open the debate on the atrocious new… […]