Changes to Qld’s workers compensation law A-G Jarrod Bleijie ‘out of control’
New laws set to be passed in State Parliament today remove the rights of some injured workers to sue their employers.
The Queensland Government has said it would push changes to workers compensation through State Parliament this week.
It plans to limit compensation claims made through the courts, but will not scrap payments for accidents on the way to or from work.
Yesterday, Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said there had already been a year-long parliamentary inquiry.
However, Australian Lawyers Alliance spokesman Rod Hodgson says Mr Bleijie has “no idea”.
“We believe the Attorney-General is out of touch and out of control,” he said.
“His own party’s committee said ‘don’t touch this scheme – it is the best scheme in the country’.
“Since then, the Attorney-General has now wheeled out legislation that slashes and burns the rights of injured employees.”
However, Master Builders Association spokesman Dean Cameron says the legal fraternity does not understand the burden the WorkCover scheme has on business.
“The complaints we’re seeing from lawyers is over the top and clearly they have a vested interest,” he said.
“Also I think you need to take into consideration here that the legal industry simply isn’t contributing to the scheme.
“Twenty cents for every $100 compared to $6 or $12 for every $100 that construction contributes.”
Voters in Newman’s electorate oppose changes, poll shows
Meanwhile, a new poll shows Premier Campbell Newman risks losing his Brisbane seat of Ashgrove if his Government goes ahead with the workers compensation overhaul.
A ReachTel survey of more than 600 of Campbell Newman’s constituents has found about 88 per cent oppose the WorkCover changes and support the right of injured workers to sue negligent employers.
The poll’s margin of error was 3.8 per cent.
Mr Hodgson says if the the changes to the workers compensation scheme become law, it will be at Mr Newman’s peril.
“Absolutely the polling shows clearly 58.5 per cent of Ashgrove voters say they will be less likely to vote for the LNP at the next state election, if the Government passes the laws to fundamentally change our current workers compensation scheme, which is the best scheme in the country,” he said.