Date: 13th July 2008
The unfunded liability has to hit the $1 billion mark.
The Rann Government, in its infinite system - and in spite of members of its own party clearly being against the move, the new Workers Compensation Act amendments were introduced into legislation in 2008.
The long and short of this is really simple.
The Government screwed up the WorkCover scheme.
The Government then screwed the injured worker.
Through administrative poor management, the injured workers has become the easy target.
Since VOID’s beginnings, there have been some changes that have improved the Workers Compensation payments to the families of deceased workers. In that respect, we can say that the new legislation didn’t hit the families of deceased workers as hard as it did those suffering an injury.
There have also been changes in the eligibility of death benefits. Again, all this has happened in the last few years since we began. It doesn’t much help the families that are amongst us now but it certainly will help those who fall into the scheme now.
There is still a lot we need to achieve though.
We have some specific targets to work towards.
One of these relate to the sentencing levies (that being the victims of crime levy). Another very important lobby will be to push for common law rights for deceased workers’ families. We’re not about to give up on that fight.
There will be more on that in the future - for now, we’re watching to see how the latest legislative changes affect our members. More to the point, we’re keen to see how WorkCover and Employer's Mutual Ltd handle future claims.
Some of the pages here relate to the lobby efforts prior to the current changes to the legislation.
By and large the legislation was pushed through both the lower and upper house at lightening speed - in spite of the efforts by Unions and lobby groups.
While VOID can say that the compensation scheme has improved somewhat for families of workers killed, we note that the sum for non-economic loss has not been adjusted as yet. That remains at the old scale - we’ll be watching this to make sure the Government makes good on the few promises it did make.