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Friday, 4 May 2012

Government refuses to consider compo changes effect on workers

Media release - Wednesday 2 May 2012

The NSW Government has refused to consider whether or not the NSW Workers Compensation Scheme provides just compensation for injured workers in the parliamentary inquiry set up today, revealing the government's agenda to cut benefits to workers regardless of the impact, according to Greens NSW MP David Shoebridge.

"The government's Workers Compensation Committee is clearly a hatchet job designed to slash benefits for injured workers," Mr Shoebridge said.

"The government refused to allow the committee to even consider the fairness of the scheme.

"The Greens proposed an amendment to the terms of reference to the committee so that the committee would consider 'the extent to which the scheme provides just compensation for injured workers.'

"The government rejected the Greens' amendment out of hand.

"This committee has clearly been set up to look at cutting benefits for injured workers regardless of the impact on injured workers.

"With four Coalition members, one Christian Democrat, one Shooter and only two Labor members this makes a mockery of the Parliamentary committee system.

"The Workers Compensation system needs reform with a close eye on the hundreds of millions of dollars that go to private insurers, before this government slashes the benefits paid to injured people.

"In the 2010 financial year alone, private insurers ripped $476 million out of the system, which was almost a quarter of the $1.9 billion paid to benefit injured workers.

"This is clearly part of Barry O'Farrell's plan to take a hatchet to the rights of working people in NSW, following on from his attack on public sector workers last year.

Media contact: Mark Riboldi 9230 3030 | 0433 753 376

Read more about the proposed cuts here: http://davidshoebridge.org.au/2012/04/23/government-stacks-committee-to-slash-comp-benefits/

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