On 2 January, Victoria’s new Labor Premier (Daniel Andrews – formerly the Minister for Finance) announced—by means of a vague and most curious media release— a review of WorkSafe VIC (VWA) and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC), to “…identify opportunities to optimise the effectiveness, efficiency and value of these organisations to the Victorian community.”
WorkSafe VIC and TAC review
Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, has recently announced a review into the Victorian Workcover Authority (VWA) and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC). The announcement was made by means of a very curious, dubious and very vague media release. In fact no terms of reference for the review have even been mentioned apart from the following fuzzy statement:
“…identify opportunities to optimise the effectiveness, efficiency and value of these organisations to the Victorian community.”
Not only do we find the lack of any explicit details of said ‘review’ very curious, but we’re also question the need for said ‘review’ given that in 2012 the Victoria’s Essential Services Commission (ESC) undertook an efficiency review of both WorkSafe and the TAC. The ESC concluded at the time that “… we have not identified any systemic need for reform of the TAC and the VWA.” (see page 11).
Interestingly Mr James MacKenzie, former CEO of the TAC (from 1994-97) and the Chairman of both TAC and WorkSafe Victoria from 2000-07 has been appointed to conduct the review. On his profile the following is stated:
James is a noted leader in public administration and led the transformation of the Victorian Government’s Personal Injury Schemes as Chairman of the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and The Victorian WorkCover Authority (WorkSafe Victoria) from 2000-2007. He remained on both Boards of Management until recently . He is Chairman of The Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research which was established by the Victorian Government in 2009 to undertake research in workplace injury and illness prevention, compensation practice, health and vocational rehabilitation and build on the success of TAC and WorkSafe Victoria. (read more on Mr MacKenzie’s profile>>)
While it appears that Mr MacKenzie has had no direct involvement in the area of WorkSafe & TAC for the past 4 years, the mere fact that he “led the transformation of WorkSafe”may, indeed, be considered a hindrance by many.
We sincerely hope that this ‘review’ will be thorough, independent and robust and that consultation will occur with all stakeholders, including injured workers – and not just a political/election exercise!
[Article dictated by WCV and manually transcribed on her behalf]