Accident Compensation Amendment (Repayment of Dividends) Bill 2012
Written on the 17 April 2012
I am pleased to rise to make a relatively short contribution to the debate on the Accident Compensation Amendment (Repayments and Dividends) Bill 2012, and I do so for a number of reasons. After hearing the contribution of Ms Tierney I want to take the opportunity to dispute some of the outrageous remarks she made in relation to business concerns. I want to speak about what we as a government are undertaking to maintain the position of this state in light of what is happening right around this country. I refer here to some policy decisions made at a national level that are having massive impacts not only here in Victoria but in other parts of the country.
Members of the opposition have suggested that premiums will rise. The bill will not cause a rise in premiums. The fact that members of the opposition have stated this shows their lack of understanding as to how premiums are actually calculated. They are not based on financial year results; they are based on the projection of costs that will be incurred by the Victorian WorkCover Authority.
Further, as has already been highlighted, Victoria has the lowest WorkCover premiums in Australia -- 1.34 per cent -- whereas Queensland has a premium of 1.42 per cent and New South Wales has a premium of 1.66 per cent. There is no question about it; we have a good track record.
[Mr Tee] -- Who delivered that?
[Ms CROZIER] -- I take up Mr Tee's interjection. I do not know if Mr Tee was in the chamber when Mr Philip Davis made his contribution, but the setting of the premiums being at that rate was primarily due to the reforms undertaken under the Kennett government. The other interesting point Mr Davis made in his contribution to this debate was in relation to the additional $600 million in dividends paid under the Bracks and Brumby governments.
In relation to what the Baillieu government is doing and the responsibility of the Minister for Finance in discharging this piece of legislation, I assure businesses that premiums will not rise and that the safety of workers will be ensured. It is completely misleading to say that their safety will not be ensured and that premiums will rise.
In conclusion, I reiterate that business will not suffer, as stated by those opposite, that workers will be protected, that benefits will remain enshrined in legislation and that those who are injured will still be looked after by the scheme in the same way that they are currently. I commend the bill to the house and urge those opposite to support it.