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    WORKCOVER A HOT TOPIC FOR THE STATE ELECTION

    23 February 2010


      The Liberals' swift release of its WorkCover policy has been welcomed by SA Unions and indicates the depth of public concern surrounding the issue.
       
      SA Unions Secretary, Janet Giles says South Australia has the costliest, least fair and most poorly managed workers compensation scheme in thenation.
       
      "The impact of these bad laws is undeniable.  People are struggling financially, physically and emotionally.  Some have lost their homes.  Some have even lost their lives."
       
      "This election is a chance for fairness to be restored", Ms Giles says.
       
      "Injured workers are paying the price of unfair laws that were put forward by Labor and supported by the Liberals, so both the major parties are culpable.  But both have the chance to right the wrongs."
       
      "The Liberal policy contains some concerns but also some constructive improvements."
       
      "In relation to the WorkCover levy, SA Unions is not opposed to a levy reduction provided it occurs in tandem with improved outcomes for injured workers.  We believe it would be highly irresponsible of the Liberals to advocate a reduction in the levy while the scheme is still in financial difficulty, and utterly immortal while workers' rights are not restored."
       
      On the positive side of the ledger, we welcome the Liberal pledge to ensure an early review of the current unfair laws, improved case management of injured workers and removal of the unfair system of payments for loss of limbs or body function."
       
      "Overall, we think that the Liberal policy offers some improvements on the current system, but it doesn't go far enough to redress the balance and ensure that workers are treated fairly.  It remains biased towards employers who have already benefited enormously form the past changes to the law", Ms Giles says.
       
      "We call on the ALP to swiftly release its WorkCover position to give voters ample opportunity to accurately compare the positions of both the major parties."
       
      "Labor legislated the worst workers compensation laws in the nation, yet its party policy position is actually very good.  We call on the ALP to commit to implement its platform position as one of its key election pledges", Ms Giles says.



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    Authorised by J Giles, SA Unions Secretary, 46 Greenhill Road, Wayville SA  5034