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Speech: Labor Withdraws Bill That Would Reduce Injured Workers' Compensation

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (11:09): I rise to support the withdrawal of this bill. I note that the Liberal opposition has opposed the discharge of a bill that is not their bill, that is a government bill. I note that this bill was not consulted on properly before coming to this place, and I would hope that this will be the last time any legislation from the government has not been properly consulted on in an appropriate manner before it is presented to this place.

If the Liberals wish to pick up an unconsulted, inappropriate bill and run with it, good luck. I would say that they should also be questioning whether or not the lazy politics of this was workers and the unions having the Labor Party do their bidding at the last minute, and that all employers actually had a position of supporting this legislation is one based on fact or simple, lazy, old-school politics, where you have assumed that because the unions say one thing that the bosses will say another. The bosses were not asked about this legislation either.

The self-insurers do just fine under the very same legislation. The ReturnToWorkSA board is culpable here. It is them that have put the Labor government in this position and when the ReturnToWorkSA board next says 'Jump' I hope the Labor Party response will not be, 'How high?', but indeed, 'Why should we jump?' Going back to the basics and doing the proper work that should have been done before this legislation was ever put before this place is now, I believe, what the government will do.

I find it curious that the opposition would simply fall into a: we love this bill, because it was unconsulted and tried to be rushed through the parliament, so now we are going to fight to keep it here. That is the most extraordinary response I have seen from an opposition in a long while. I hope their politics will get a little bit more robust and stringent than to simply believe old cold war politics approaches to this particular complex issue.

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