Every so often Rosemary McKenzie Ferguson and the WIRC (Work Injured Resource Connection) calls to get everyone together to air some grievances on the topic of WorkCover and the manner in which injured South Australian workers are treated.
There’s never a shortage of tragic stories - broken lives.
I have been asked to speak at these forums and each time I attend, I realise that for so long, I lived in a bubble.
I was like so many South Australians - apathetic .. sceptical about whether too many injured workers weren’t taking the compo system for a ride. We’ve all seen the media coverage showing the frauds playing it up whilst supposedly being unable to work for a living.
In this instance, yes I see media has a lot to answer for.
It can be a very steep learning curve - understanding the difference between what is portrayed and what is real.
There’s nothing quite like a cold hit of reality to help one realise that there is an awful lot wrong with our workers compensation scheme.
I always come away from these forums drained. It really is beyond me how a Government can treat its workforce like this and with the same lack of insight, allow the business sector to lobby workplace safety laws.
These forums are well attended - and dare I say, even by the odd member of parliament.
To that I should add that I don’t believe I have ever seen anyone representing our Government in parliament attend. Not once - and not one.
The kind of politician you’ll meet at these forums are most likely going to be either minority party, independents or yes it’s fair to say the opposition. I’m very much doubtful that the opposing member would attend for any other reason than to play the party hand - but the fact that there is attendance at all from this party says something.
Nick Xenophon was the initial chair of these forums but since his move to the Senate Kris Hannah has taken up the challenge. I found Kris to be completely genuine and troubled by what is happening with this scheme. We are indeed lucky to have politicians like him here in South Australia
Needless to say, we have to thank Rosemary McKenzie-Furguson for the work she puts into these forums. From where I sit, they should be everyone’s business and completely televised. They are an absolute eye opener.