Thousands of injured workers will benefit, but thousands more will miss out, from a modest workcover NSW reform package announced by the NSW government on August 4.
A billion-dollar workers compensation package has been announced in a winding back of some of the measures that stripped New South Wales’ workers of entitlements. Is this true or are we dreaming? Perhaps let’s wait for the fine print!
The Daily Telegraph has uncovered that the appointment of Paul John Gregory, a lawyer who was sentenced to two years imprisonment for tax fraud in 2010, as WIRO’s Implementation Director is part of a string of apparent “jobs for the boys” appointments involving Mr Garling.
The new Queensland Government is to wind back “harsh and unfair” changes to WorkCover QLD legislation made under former premier Campbell Newman.
The WorkCover SA scheme which is being rebranded as Return to Work SA, is already showing improvements with fewer injured workers on long(er) term benefits. Mr Rau -Industrial Relations Minister- also said the changes made so far had already reduced the unfunded liability (from 1.4 billion) to about $1 billion. Hard to believe indeed!
Further to yesterday’s article “Ill worker seeks damages against sacked former NSW finance minister for breach of privacy” it has come to our attention that The Civil and Administrative Tribunal’s most interesting decision is formally on the record: AQO v Gregory Pearce MLC  NSWCATAD 210.
As we’ve recently seen, the embarrassing $1.36 billion surplus of WorkCover NSW Scheme, alleged to be mainly because of stronger investment returns, has been greeted with cynicism and saracasm by the state opposition. NSW Labor Opposition has accused treasurer Andrew Constance of “championing a workers’ compensation scheme that generates profits at the expense of injured workers”. “A surplus built on misery“.
The 20 May announcement of a drop in WorkCover QLD premiums for employers proves that the Newman Government’s changes to the QLD workers’ compensation scheme, which were rammed through Parliament last year, were unnecessary, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance.
Budget cuts to Medicare (reducing Medicare rebates by $5 and introducing a co-payment of $7 towards seeing a GP) will be borne by the injured, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance.
Injured workers are often receiving statutory compensation amounts yet are not eligible for concession cards. Instead, they will be shelling out the full $7 on each and every occasion they visit a GP throughout their recovery and beyond. Statutory compensation amounts are already usually below a person’s pre-injury wage rate.
The NSW government has stripped another 16,000 injured workers of NSW workers compensation benefits, worth a combined $350 million, with their successful appeal to the High Court against Mr Ronald Goudappel a worker who crushed his foot and ankle at work, wrote David Shoebridge MLC on his website.