Posted on 29. Mar, 2012 in News

The State Labor Opposition is opposing a plan by the Baillieu Government to raid almost $500 million from businesses and workers, Leader of the Opposition Daniel Andrews said today during a rally at Parliament House.

The Government is pushing ahead with its Accident Compensation Amendment (Repayments and Dividends) Bill 2012 that will allow the Coalition to take $471.5 million from the WorkCover fund during the next four years.

Currently, premiums paid by employers to the fund are then used to benefit injured workers and prevent workplace injury and disease.

Under the Coalition’s proposed changes, the Government will be able to take money from the fund to prop up its own failing budget.

Labor will oppose this Bill, which is being debated in State Parliament this week.   Mr Andrews and Shadow Minister for WorkCover Robin Scott today joined unions on the steps of parliament to voice their concerns about the Government’s plan.

“The economy is stalling and thousands of Victorians are losing their job, yet the Baillieu Government is determined to push ahead with this raid that will actually hurt workers,” Mr Andrews said.

“This plan will increase the cost of employment and is nearly half a billion dollars of lost opportunities for the Government to provide WorkCover premium cuts.

Labor left a AAA-rated budget and a budget in surplus.

“Instead of managing the budget, the Premier has decided to raid the Victorian WorkCover Authority to prop up his budget,” Mr Andrews said.

“This cash grab is short sighted and will actually hurt businesses and mean fewer jobs.

“Business needs a Government prepared to support them – not one content to rip almost half a billion dollars from WorkCover.”


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