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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    New laws protect workers’ compensation scheme, keep premiums low

    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Wednesday, June 09, 2010

    New laws protect workers’ compensation scheme, keep premiums low

    Injured Queensland workers will continue to enjoy the protection of Australia’s strongest workers’ compensation scheme under changes passed in Parliament today.

    Industrial Relations Minister Cameron Dick said the changes were fair to workers and employers, with workers’ compensation premiums to remain the lowest of any state in the nation.

    “Queensland’s workers’ compensation scheme suffered significant losses as a result of the global financial crisis and the government had to take action to ensure its ongoing stability,” Mr Dick said.

    “The changes that have been passed by Parliament will secure the long-term future of WorkCover Queensland and offset rising costs associated with common law claims.

    “Workers will still have unfettered access to common law claims while employers will continue to benefit from low premiums.

    “As a result of our changes, WorkCover Queensland has been able to contain average employer premiums at $1.30 per $100 of wages for 2010-11, up from $1.15.

    “Victoria, the state with the next lowest employer premium costs, will have an average premium of $1.34 per $100 of wages in 2010-11 – still 3.1 per cent more than the new Queensland rate.”

    Mr Dick said the changes to the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 would harmonise with the Civil Liability Act 2003, aligning liability and contributory negligence provisions and capping damages.

    “However, workers will still have unchanged access to their benefits under the statutory scheme,” he said.

    “With a solvency level exceeding 100 per cent, WorkCover Queensland is still in a very strong financial position but was severely buffeted by the global financial crisis.

    “These changes ensure that WorkCover Queensland will continue to have a strong future, while looking after the interests of injured Queensland workers.”

    Media contact:
    Office of the Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations 3239 3487