Family First unveils WR&C Amendment Bill

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Thursday 19 February 2009

The Family First Party has tabled a Bill in Parliament to alter or remove some of the 2008 amendments to the Workers Rehabilitation & Compensation Act.

In a message sent by e-mail that contained a copy of the Bill, Hon Robert Brokenshire MLC stated that the Bill is intended to assist those people who are "...still aggrieved about the 2008 WorkCover changes and concerned about injured workers, a growing number of whom will now be struck by the second tranche of cutbacks (ie to 80%) of their weekly payments". There are also two proposed amendments that would affect self insurers.

If enacted, the Bill would:

  • Place greater emphasis on retraining in the objectives of the Act (section 2).
  • Remove the 1st, 2nd and 3rd entitlement periods from s.35 and replace them with a single designated period of 104 weeks.
  • Amend sections 35A-35C to entitle workers to 100% of AWE for the designated period.
  • Make changes to the Corporation's ability to determine that payments cease at the end of the designated period so as to require it to prove that it has made reasonable efforts to find the worker employment and has taken reasonable steps to retrain or otherwise prepare the worker for employment.
  • Make changes to s.36 in consequence of the above income maintenance changes.
  • Exempt self insurers from the limitations on redemptions.
  • Require the Minister to undertake public consultation and seek Parliamentary approval for increases in industry levy rates.
  • Repeal section 76AA (discontinuance fees).

SISA will observe the progress of the Bill and keep members advised of developments.