01:36 pm, Thursday 24 May, 2012
Premier Barry O’Farrell
Photo: Premier of NSW
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NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell denied allegations that his government has already made up its mind regarding reforms to the state’s workers’ compensation scheme.
Unions have alleged that the government has a “pre-determined agenda” to cut benefits to injured workers, after the NSW Premier said on Tuesday that parliament wouldn’t rise for the winter recess until the WorkCover reforms were passed.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the parliament is scheduled to sit until June 21 to act on the findings of a committee established to examine the reforms to the WorkCover scheme.
The committee will give its report on June 13. This tight time frame has made unions believe that the government had already drafted the legislation.
However, Mr O’Farrell denied the government already had its mind set to the nature of the reforms.
“As I said yesterday, we’re waiting for the inquiry, work’s underway now,” said Mr O’Farrell.
“But the legislation will be influenced and fashioned on the basis of the inquiry, and that inquiry is independent.
“There is a sitting schedule currently published, and what I said yesterday is we’ll continue to sit until we’ve solved the problem.”