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2015-04-24

work injury

Radical attack on Comcare scheme by Abbott government

On average, every 5 out of 100 workers each year are afflicted with an injury or illness obtained in the workplace.

According to Safe Work Australia 184 Australians lost their lives at work in 2014.

The need for an effective compensation scheme is clear. But the Abbott Government is proposing radical changes to the Comcare scheme through amendments to the Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Act that will clearly disadvantage workers.

The Abbott Govt has introduced 3 Bills into the Parliament.

The 1st Bill, the Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Legislation Amendment Bill 2014, seeks to expand the Comcare scheme to multi-state employers. This Bill undermines State systems and adopts the lowest common denominator approach to workers’ compensation.

  1. The 2nd Bill, the Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Legislation Amendment (Exit Arrangements) Bill 2015 concerns ACT Government’s decision to exit the Comcare scheme.
  2. The 3rd Bill, the Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Legislation Amendment (Improving the Comcare Scheme) Bill 2015 is the most relevant to CWU members. We know only too well that the Commonwealth area has the least effective regulator and the lengthiest and most cumbersome dispute resolution process of all workers’ compensation schemes in Australia. The Abbott Government is trying to weaken the scheme further. We cannot let them succeed.

The 1st Bill was referred to the Senate Education and Employment Committee last year and is now in the Senate. The 2nd and 3rd Bills have recently been referred to the Senate Education and Employment Committee.

Your CWU National Office is working with the ACTU and other unions to stop changes to the SRC Act that will disadvantage workers. We will keep you updated.

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