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  Issue No 99 Official Organ of LaborNet 15 June 2001  

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Letters to the Editor

What's Wrong With Compo?


Dear Sir,

Just under 75 years ago on 1 July 1926 The Workers' Compensation Act 1926 came into operation. The Act set up the Workers' Compensation Commission.

That Commission which was run by judges remained until 1984 when the judicial functions which it performed were taken over by the Compensation Court. That Court has continued in existence to the present time.

The principal function of both the Commission and the Court was and still is to determine on an impartial and independent basis the rights of injured workers to just and fair compensation.

Without wishing to display any bias it is fair to say that over the now nearly three quarters of a century of its combined existence the Commission and the Court have served the workers of this State in an exemplary and benevolent manner. One would only need to speak to the many workers who have come before the judges over the years to determine the overall satisfaction that they have with the Court.

Despite 75 years of service not only to the workers of this State but to the community at large the present government has formed a view that it wishes to abolish the Court. I has not ot to date, nor has any previous government been able to provide any proper reason for the need to abolish

the Court. There has so far as I'm aware been no evidence provided by the Government to show that the Court is in some way not performing its function or is performing its function improperly.

It is generally accepted that the Court has one of the largest, if not the largest workloads of any Court in the nation. It is also generally accepted that the Court deals with the cases that come before it in a just and expeditious manner.

The Government's intention despite the total lack of any justification has apparently found favour with the Lobor Council. With a history of service for nearly 75 years and without any serious complaint over that period about the operation of the Court it is difficult to understand how the Labor Council can justify its acceptance of the Governments intention and its willingness to accept a system that will deprive workers of that impartiality and independence.

75 years is indeed a long time to take to work out that something is not functioning as it should, ie. in the interests of workers. It takes little imagination to believe that there is in fact something more sinister in the Government's motives. The workers of this State are in the end the only ones who will suffer.

Yours faithfully,

Richard Page


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*   View entire issue - print all of the articles!

*   Issue 99 contents

In this issue
Features
*  Interview: In Defence of the Umpire
Australian Industry Group chief Bob Herbert on why the Industrial Relations Commission is worth fighting for.
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*  Unions: Diary of a Dude
One.Tel worker Warren Manners thought he had a dream job and no need for a union. That was until the money ran out.
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*  Legal: Dot.Com Casualties
The high profile collapse of One.Tel had significant implications for its employees. But what about its contractors?
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*  Industrial: The Shopfloor, United
Chris Christodoulou argues that without an active union membership, workplace democracy is just a pipe dream.
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*  International: A Saharawi Woman's Plea
Sydney unionist Stephanie Brennan travelled to Africa to witness first-hand the struggle for independence in West Sahara.
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*  History: Once Were Tuckpointers
Trawling through the files, Paul Howes stumbles upon some unions that represented workers long departed.
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*  Politics: Out Of The Comfort Zone
In his new book, Brett Evans argues that while Labor is honing its reform agenda, it is still struggling to reform itself.
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*  Satire: World Domination
The US has threatened not to pay the UN the money it doesn’t pay anyway.
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*  Review: Wiped Out
Bread and Roses is a new movie about the struggle of invisible office cleaners to gain dignity and respect at work. Pity you won’t see it here.
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News
»  Dudded Dudes Lead Union Fight Back
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»  Redundancy Rules Promote Outsourcing
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»  Workers Compo Bill Hovers
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»  Della’s Pay for View Awards
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»  Trades Hall Get Green Light
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»  Public Works Under the Gun
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»  Inner City School Closures
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»  TAB Computers Push Bigger Bets
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»  Shannon Plots Corporate Raid
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»  Stop CSR Militants Wrecking Economy
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»  NRMA Learns From the Big Boys
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»  Diggers’ Records to be Outsourced?
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»  Unions Back Religious Freedoms in Vietnam
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»  Blair's Britain - An Insider Speaks
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»  Workers Online 100th Issue Bash
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»  Activists' Notebook
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Columns
»  The Soapbox
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»  The Locker Room
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»  Trades Hall
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»  Tool Shed
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Letters to the editor
»  The May Day Wash-Out Explained
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»  What's Wrong With Compo?
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