Blowouts put Workers’ Comp at risk

8 Dec 2010 2:43 PMJann Stuckey

8 December 2010

HUGE blowouts in payments were putting Queensland’s workers’ compensation scheme at risk of collapsing, the State Opposition warned today.

LNP Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations Jann Stuckey said the Q-Comp’s annual statistical report tabled this morning was a real worry – highlighting that total worker’ compensation payments increased by an unsustainable 13.6 per cent in 2009/10.

“Compo payments of $1.283 billion were paid out in 2009/10 … up nearly 30 per cent on just two years ago …it’s out of control and totally unsustainable,” Ms Stuckey said.

“The Attorney-General Cameron Dick needs to clearly explain how he and his long-term toxic government will keep paying for this to ensure that our workers’ compensation scheme doesn’t collapse in a heap.

“It’s not good enough to force struggling small and medium businesses to pick up the pieces.

“Common law claims continual to spiral out of control and have increased by 36 per cent on the previous year to $627.3 million.

“These latest figures are evidence this Cameron Dick and his mates have failed to manage the scheme and the changes earlier this year were a hatchet job and have failed to turn a thing around.

“The work cover scheme is designed to offer compensation and support for injured workers. If the current Labor scheme continues at this rate then legitimate claimants stand to lose out.

“Another year like this and the scheme will sink,” Ms Stuckey warned.

She said the LNP believed the entire work cover scheme needed an overhaul and fresh directions.

“Labor’s ‘pay-early-pay-lots’ mentality must stop …workers’ compensation must be focussed on supporting injured workers and their families …helping them recover quickly and to return to work.”

Media contact – Jann Stuckey 0439 755 919