Greens Secure Parliamentary Review of New SA Workers’ Compensation Scheme
The Greens Industrial Relations Spokesperson Tammy Franks MLC and Nick Xenophon Team Member of the Legislative Council John Darley today secured Upper House support for an inquiry into the emerging human toll of the new ReturnToWork scheme.
Greens Industrial Relations Spokesperson Tammy Franks says: “The Protect Our Cops campaign run by the Police Association told the stories of injured workers who were going to lose out under the state’s new worker’s compensation scheme. Those police officers were listened to and supported by the public, and then eventually by the Weatherill Labor Government. They were rightly afforded fairer treatment in a deal brokered between the Police Association and the Police Minister.
“This inquiry will be an opportunity for all injured workers to have their voices heard about how they are faring under the new regime. I believe their stories, once heard, will compel similar restorative action.
“My office has been informed of cases of injured workers with disk herniation surgery, total hip replacement, compression fracture of spine and even leg amputation below the knee - all of these life-altering injuries - not being defined to be ‘serious’ under the current laws.
“How can losing half your leg at work not be defined as being ‘serious’? It will simply not pass the front bar test once examined and publically exposed. The harshness of the new scheme is untenable whether you are a cop, a nurse, an ambo or a teacher.
“It is unjust for one injured worker to be able to access financial and medical support, and another with a comparable injury, who will suffer the same ongoing trauma, to be treated differently just because they work in a different occupation.
“The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Occupational Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation was today given a reference to inquire. Labor MP Steph Key, who is on the record as holding grave concerns about this scheme, will chair the Parliamentary inquiry - let’s hope her Labor colleagues are also listening this time,” Ms Franks concluded.