WorkCover petition aims to reopen debate
NSW nurses and other public sector workers angry about cuts to workers’ compensation are circulating a petition to trigger a parliamentary debate on the issue.
The NSW opposition has launched a petition designed to reignite debate about workers' compensation.
The state government is cutting WorkCover compensation payments to some public service staff, including cover for injuries sustained on the way to and from work.
Nurses and other hospital staff are among those facing cutbacks, but firefighters have won exemptions following last month's industrial action. Police are also exempt.
Opposition leader John Robertson said he hoped to get 10,000 signatures on the petition to force the government to debate the laws again.
"This legislation has been passed, but that doesn't mean this fight is over," he said.
The opposition leader was speaking outside the Royal Prince of Wales Hospital, flanked by a dozen nurses said to be affected by the changes.
"We're aiming to get more than 10,000 signatures on this petition so we can see a debate," Robertson said.
"The O'Farrell government needs to stand up in the parliament and justify these changes."
Under the new WorkCover changes, compensation payments will be reduced after 13 weeks rather than 26 weeks.
The state government also plans to dramatically reduce the amount of time workers can receive financial support for medical expenses.
Robertson suggested some government MPs were uncomfortable about the cutbacks when they were last debated.
The government last year promised to debate any subject raised in a petition to parliament carrying 10,000 or more signatures.
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