Unions urge Newman to reconsider gutting workers comp

UNION chiefs have urged the Newman Government to reconsider drastic changes to Queensland's worker's compensation scheme ahead of tomorrow's State Cabinet meeting.

The government is believed to be considering reforms similar to those recently passed in NSW, where entitlements were cut back from 100% at 13 weeks rather than 26 and financial support for medical expenses reduced and in some cases, cut at 12 months.

When the legislation passed last year, NSW Barry O'Farrell maintained the changes were necessary to prevent business owners from incurring significant hikes in workers premiums.

Australian Lawyers Alliance Queensland President Michelle James said a state-wide poll conducted last week, showed the majority of Queenslanders - about 83% - supported the current workers compensation scheme and warned marginal seats could be at risk if politicians didn't get the message.

The figure was highest at Mt Coot-ha, held by Assistant Minister Saxon Rice and neighbouring the Premier's seat of Ashgrove.

More than 76.8% of voters in Cairns, held by Assistant Minister Gavin King, supported people's rights to take legal action for workplace injuries, no matter how serious or minor the injury was.

Ms James went as far as saying the polling could sway the next state election, with 44.7% of Queenslanders saying they would be less likely to vote for the LNP if the government reduced the rights of workers to sue their employers for negligence.


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