Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie
Queensland Government Brings Forward Workers Compensation Review
Victor P Taffa
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie has today announced the Queensland Workers Compensation scheme will be reviewed by a parliamentary committee ahead of a 2013 deadline.
For the first time, the five-year review, legislated under the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003, will be conducted by MPs in an open and transparent manner.
Mr. Bleijie said this was an important step forward to give the community a voice in how the scheme operates in Queensland.
“In their role as the people’s representative, MPs from around the State will bring the grassroots opinions and issues of their regions to the table.” Mr. Bleijie said.
“I have asked the Finance and Administration Committee to look at the Queensland scheme to see how it compares to arrangements in other Australian jurisdictions.”
“Although the principles of the legislation are the same across the country, different regulations are applied in each State.” Mr. Bleijie said.
“I want to ensure that Queensland employers are not being choked by excessive compensation premiums but also that workers are receiving adequate cover.”
Mr. Bleijie said a number of reforms to the Workers Compensation Act 2003 came into play in 2010, to address the growth in common law claims in previous years.
“The Committee will also investigate whether these reforms have worked and whether they have helped to address the problem.” Mr. Bleijie said.
“Employers in Queensland are in the unique position of being able to self-insure and I want the Committee to investigate whether this is a viable option in the contemporary workplace.”
Mr. Bleijie added the Finance and Administration Committee would also need to consider the recommendations of the Structural Review of Institutional and Working Arrangements in Queensland Workers’ Compensation Scheme.
“Particularly, I want to know what further structural changes can be made to improve the efficiency, responsiveness and cost-effectiveness of the scheme.”
“I want our scheme to promote injury prevention, responsive injury management and better return to work outcomes.” Mr. Bleijie said.
The committee has been asked to report by 28 February 2013.