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Labor Betray Injured Workers

In an appalling move from a so-called “Labor” Government, the Minister for Industrial Relations Kyam Maher has today introduced a bill that would make it practically impossible for injured workers to have their workplace injuries properly assessed and compensated, flying in the face of a Supreme Court decision made last year. 

The proposed legislation would mean workers cannot have multiple impairments combined for an assessment. This would undo the benefits to injured workers that were afforded to them by the Supreme Court in the Summerfield Decision, which ruled that under the Return to Work Act (2014) injured workers can have their impairments combined for the purposes of an assessment if:

1.      The worker suffers 2 or more injuries arising from the same incident; or

2.      The impairments arise from an injury and a consequential injury. For example, an impairment from a right knee injury sustained in a fall would be combined with an impairment from a left knee injury caused by ‘overuse’ due to the right knee injury.

The Greens will be moving a motion to refer the proposed legislation to a Committee for proper consultation and consideration.

Quotes attributable to Tammy Franks MLC:

“This is a betrayal from the Labor Government. They are letting injured workers down, with no consultation or warning. The Greens will fight tooth and nail against these changes. We have always stood for the rights of injured workers, and we always will.  

“This is a sneaky move to make it even harder for workers to access proper compensation for their injuries under a system that already makes this almost impossible thanks to a former Labor Government.

“The Malinauskas Labor Government clearly know this is wrong: why else did they not flag these changes once during the election? Why did they wait to let unions know until the last minute?

“I urge the Malinauskas Labor Government to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors, and to fight for the rights and fair compensation of injured workers rather than once again stripping their protections away.

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