July 21 2010
Adjourned debate on motion of Hon. R.I. Lucas:
That the regulations under the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1986 concerning claims and registration—discontinuance fee, made on 26 November 2009 and laid on the table of this council on 11 May 2010, be disallowed
The Hon. T.A. JENNINGS (20:20): I rise to indicate that the Greens will oppose the motion to disallow the regulations under the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1986 concerning claims and registration discontinuance fees. I thank the minister for providing a briefing to my office. I also acknowledge that this reflects the position the Greens last took when this matter was discussed.
The rationale put before us is that, as we know, the WorkCover scheme has probably been very underfunded—and historically so. We are looking at many other issues with the WorkCover scheme, and the Greens will work with other members in this place in relation to them. I look forward to the review of the WorkCover scheme some time later this year.
The Greens have a principle of a publicly well-funded WorkCover scheme. We have a principle that injured workers should be protected. In fact, no-one should be injured or die as a result of leaving for their job that morning. No mother, father or child should lose a family member due to a workplace incident.
We have accepted the government's case that this fee does not put in place unnecessary barriers for those who wish to become self-insured. I reiterate that the Greens' position is that we would prefer a robust public system rather than people leaving to self-insure.