Any changes to Queensland’s WorkCover legislation by Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie will be reversed at the earliest opportunity by a future Labor Government says Shadow Treasurer, Curtis Pitt.
Mr Pitt said confirmation that the Newman Government had decided to retain the journey claim component of the Queensland Workers’ Compensation Scheme did not mean the Attorney-General was abandoning his ideological attack on WorkCover entitlements.
“For months the Opposition has been predicting the WorkCover annual report would vindicate the position taken by the LNP-dominated parliamentary committee that examined the scheme and said no changes were needed,” Mr Pitt said.
“Now that the report has been finally released it shows exactly that — the scheme remains well run and premiums are still the second-lowest in the nation.
“The number of common law claims is stable and the cost of those claims is well under what was expected. Net claims incurred reduced by $90.9 million.
“Annual profit more than doubled — from $199 million to $517 million — so there is scope for the government to offer premium relief if it chooses.
“The annual report confirms that the scheme gives employers the stability they require.
“It is a ringing endorsement of the financial health and stability of WorkCover in its current form.
“It confirms there is no need for this LNP ideological assault on workers’ rights.
“Yet Mr Bleijie is persisting with raising injury thresholds which means more workers will have no access to the compensation scheme.
“The simple truth is that there is no economic justification for reducing the legal rights of Queenslanders who are injured at work,” he said.
Mr Pitt said a future Labor Government would reverse any changes imposed by the Newman Government.
“Labor will restore the scheme to its current provisions as a priority upon returning to government,” he said.
“The changes proposed by the Attorney-General will unnecessarily reduce peoples’ rights but also jeopardise the financial health of the scheme.”