NT WorkSafe will receive a funding boost to continue its programs including Small Business Safety Advisors Program as well as other programs aimed at improving work health and safety in the Northern Territory using revenue generated through insurers.
Minister for Business Peter Styles told the Estimates hearing this afternoon that insurers and self-insurers are required to contribute to the operating costs of the safety agency as mandated through the Return to Work Act.
Mr. Styles said the requirement generated extra $670,000 in the 2015-16 financial year, providing an additional $980,000 for NT WorkSafe in the 2016-17 financial year.
“This is fantastic news for Territory businesses as it will allow NT WorkSafe to provide greater assistance in ensuring the health and safety of workplaces and employees,” he said.
“Previously, the Territory was the only jurisdiction in Australia where costs associated with administration and provision of work health and safety, and workers’ compensation advice were not met either, or wholly, from premium payments.”
In 2015-16, the total amount was $2.34 million. It is expected to increase to $2.65 million for this financial year.
The revenue will be used to modernize NT WorkSafe’s ICT systems; develop an online training program for Personal Injury Management; fund the administration costs and staffing of the Small Business Safety Advisors Program, allow the agency to hire a Training Coordinator to coordinate targeted training; and fund additional leadership staff positions within the Workers Compensation and the Permissioning and Advisory Teams.
“The NT Government understands a safe work environment is vital to doing business in the Territory and sees the safety of employees as paramount,” said Mr. Styles.
“Only the Country Liberals Government has a plan to support local businesses through increasing workplace safety, slashing red tape, diversifying the economy, encouraging investment and ensuring future for the NT economy.”