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Labor continues to push union agenda on Comcare.



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Hon Joe Hockey MP

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service 11 July, 2007

Media Release

Labor continues to push union agenda on Comcare

Following on from Julia Gillard’s attack earlier in the week, the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Industrial

Relations, Brendan O’Connor is now doing his best to continue the union’s scare campaign.

Mr O’Connor is touring the Gladstone area today to continue the scare mongering about Comcare.

Deliberately spreading mistruths may keep his Shadow Minister and her union boss mates happy but it

doesn’t help working Australians.

The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, the Hon Joe Hockey MP, said the facts are

indisputable.

“Comcare has Australia’s safest workplaces, with an injury incidence rate that has been the lowest in Australia

for the last five reported years - 10.6 claims per 1000 employees. The Australian average is 16.6 claims and

Queensland has a rate of 17.7 claims per 1000 employees,” Minister Hockey said.

“Comcare continues to demonstrate enviable results in Occupational Health and Safety compared with the

rest of the country.

“The most valuable benefit an employee can receive is returning to work. Comcare has the best return to work

rate in Australia - 92 per cent.

In addition to high quality rehabilitation, while off work, an employee covered by Comcare will receive 100 per

cent of their normal weekly earnings, which includes things like overtime and penalty rates, for up to 45

weeks. After 45 weeks they are compensated at 75% of normal weekly earnings, capped at $1,576.95 per week,

until they return to work or reach retirement age.

In Queensland, workers receive only 85% of normal weekly earnings or their award/agreement for the first 26

weeks, after which the benefits drop to 75% and then 65%. After 104 weeks, weekly benefits are paid at the

single Centrelink pension rate unless the worker's impairment is greater than 15 per cent. The benefits only

continue until they reach a cap of $175,000.

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“The fact is, joining Comcare means joining Australia’s safest workplaces,” Minister Hockey said.

“Someone should tell Mr O’Connor that cheap political point scoring doesn’t help working Australians -

despite what Julia Gillard and her union mates may have told him.”

For further information contact:

Emma Needham 0400 334 091

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