Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
    The Honourable Jarrod Bleijie

    Workers Compensation Scheme to be protected

    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
    The Honourable Jarrod Bleijie

    Tuesday, October 15, 2013

    Workers Compensation Scheme to be protected

    The Queensland Workers Compensation Scheme will be the fairest in the nation with the most coverage for workers and the lowest premiums for employers.

    Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said that the Newman Government will introduce changes to Parliament this week that will restore the scheme as the envy of every other state once again.

    “Our scheme will put the focus back on injury management, rehabilitation and return to work outcomes for injured workers and a competitive premium for employers,” Mr Bleijie said.

    Mr Bleijie said Queensland workers will continue to be protected under changes to strengthen the existing system.

    “We want workers to be covered, even when they are travelling to and from work so journey claims will be retained,” he said.

    “Queensland will be the only State to provide this type of coverage.  

    “We are also taking measures to protect businesses from outlandish claims and skyrocketing premiums.

    “Access to common law claims will remain in Queensland, except for those with a medically assessed injury of 5 per cent or less.

    “Every injured worker will continue to be covered under the statutory no fault compensation system which includes payment for lost wages, medical treatment and access to lump sum compensation.

    “We want to help injured workers get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

    “Since 2009, the average premium rate has increased by twenty per cent with Queensland quickly slipping back in the pack.

    “In 2010, the board of WorkCover Queensland under former Chairman Ian Brusasco recommended that the previous Government introduce a 10-15% threshold on common law claims.

    “While other states have thresholds as high as 30% (see table).

    “Over the past few months, I have listened carefully to all sides on this issue from unions, lawyers and business owners.

    “Under these changes, we believe we’ve got the balance right.

    “With the exception of the ACT, Queensland will have the lowest threshold to access common law damages in Australia.

    “Having a competitive premium will encourage more investment into our State which means more jobs for Queenslanders while maintaining a viable system well into the future protecting those most in need.

    Amendments in the legislation will include:

    · cracking down on fraudulent claims

    · allowing employers to have access to the claims history of  applicants

    · merging the regulatory functions of Q-COMP into the Department

    “We don’t want to just have a good workers compensation scheme; we want to have the best in Australia for both workers and employers,” Mr Bleijie said.

    “These changes will enable the best outcome for every Queenslander.

    [ENDS] 15 October 2013

    Media Contact: Ashley McDermid 0412 731 355 or Katherine Hornbuckle 0402 862 351

    Current Workers Compensation Schemes in Australia:

    Jurisdiction

    Threshold to Access Common Law

    New South Wales

    15% Whole Person Impairment (WPI)

    Tasmania

    20% WPI 

    Commonwealth

    (Comcare)

    10% WPI

    Australian Capital Territory

    no threshold

    South Australia

    no common law

    Northern Territory

    no common law

    Victoria

    30% WPI (can combine physical and psych) or narrative test

    Western Australia

    not less than 15% WPI (limited damages) and not less than 25% WPI (unlimited damages)