12:01 pm, Tuesday 26 June, 2012
Hon Jarrod Bleijie
Photo: QLD Government website
This month, Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie announced the Queensland Workers Compensation scheme will be reviewed by a parliamentary committee ahead of a 2013 deadline.
The five-year review, legislated under the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003, will be spearheaded by MPs in an open and transparent manner.
In a media statement, Mr Bleijie said the review was an important step forward to give the community a say in how the scheme operates in the State.
“In their role as the people’s representative, MPs from around the State will bring the grassroots opinions and issues of their regions to the table,” said Mr Bleijie.
“I have asked the Finance and Administration Committee to look at the Queensland scheme to see how it compares to arrangements in other Australian jurisdictions.
“Although the principles of the legislation are the same across the country, different regulations are applied in each State.
“I want to ensure that Queensland employers are not being choked by excessive compensation premiums but also that workers are receiving adequate cover.”
Mr Bleijie said reforms to the Workers Compensation Act 2003 came into play in 2010 to address the growth in common law claims in previous years.
“The committee will also investigate whether these reforms have worked and whether they have helped to address the problem.
“Employers in Queensland are in the unique position of being able to self-insure and I want the Committee to investigate whether this is a viable option in the contemporary workplace.”
He also said that the Finance and Administration Committee have to recognise the recommendations of the Structural Review of Institutional and Working Arrangements in Queensland Workers’ Compensation Scheme.
“Particularly, I want to know what further structural changes can be made to improve the efficiency, responsiveness and cost-effectiveness of the scheme,” said Mr Bleijie.
“I want our scheme to promote injury prevention, responsive injury management and better return to work outcomes.”
The Finance Administration Committee will report back to parliament by 28 February 2013.