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Your views: on social enterprise, workers compo and more

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on a different business approach, COVID hampers and a move to reform SA’s workers compensation system.

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Commenting on the opinion piece: The missing ingredient in SA’s COVID recovery

Hooray Amy and David, this is such an important and timely piece for SA’s economic recovery.

We know we need to do things differently and this is a major piece of the puzzle. Thank you for writing such an easy reading article and highlighting both the problem and potential solutions we face.

I’m one of the ones who’ve tried to hire Gogo when booking the SA Education Department’s major conference centre, I just ran into too many roadblocks to make it happen. If there was a social procurement policy in SA it would have been possible and my event could have added so much more value to the state. Your article feels like another push closer. – Paula Dickson

Commenting on the story: McLaren Vale co-working hub helps COVID emergency workers

Why only regional? Can we have one in Goodwood, please. – Mike Rungie

Commenting on the story: Lucas tight-lipped on workers compo changes

I started working as an advocate for and within the injured worker community  in South Australia after my own workplace injury.

I have no idea as to how many injured worker files I have read over the many years, but what I can say is that I keep seeing the same things. The vast majority of what I see does not support the injured workers, nor in many many ways does it support the employers.

What I have seen and what I have spoken out about in many places has been how every time there is a review of any kind, it is always the injured workers who pay the higher price for a system they have no ability to contain or control.

One of my favourite memories is addressing the Standing Advisory Review Committee (SARC) and addressing the Committee whilst wearing a t-shirt with my claim number on it. I think I would be the only person ever in South Australian history to be referred to in Hansard by name and by number. 

I have been at meetings where employers have stood and told senior management of Workcover SA that they pay for the workplace injuries of their employees rather than go down the WorkCover path. I watched as a senior manager from WorkCover SA went into a great explanation about the need to lodge claims and comply. The answer from the employer was both priceless but unprintable.

What I can say is that neither the employers or the injured worker broke any legislation; after all, it is not a requirement to lodge a claim for workers compensation, nor is it a workers compensation claim until the claim is accepted. Private agreements are still legal in Australia.

SafeWork Australia informs us that the national workers compensation system is a $61.2 billion industry and that 77 per cent of all costs are covered by the injured workers. So I take this opportunity to remind the minister that Workcover SA came into place for one reason and only one reason – for the betterment of injured workers. Anything less than the best of all possible outcomes puts a lie to the bipartisan committee way back in the early 80s to place injured workers into the centre of their own claim.

I also want to remind the minister that every injured worker also has the protection of the Australian Human Rights Commission, even if they don’t know it.

Lastly, maybe it is well and truly past time for the claims agents to explain just why they still use the same tactics that I have read countless times and why the employers and injured workers are paying for such things as urine tests without the injured worker even knowing the claims agent is testing their urine. – Rosemary McKenzie-Ferguson

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