UnionsWA today welcomed an announcement by the McGowan Government that it would legislate to increase compensation for families of workplace fatalities.
Meredith Hammat, Secretary, UnionsWA said:
“No amount of money can compensate for the loss of a loved one.
“But the woefully inadequate compensation in WA has compounded tragedy with injustice.
“The existing maximum compensation of $58.10 per week for a child payment is clearly inadequate.
“It’s hard to fathom why the previous Liberal Government thought that a West Australian life lost at work meant so much less compensation than a work fatality elsewhere in Australia.
“In WA lump sum and periodic payments for a work fatality compensation have been about half those provided elsewhere across Australia.
“Yet WA’s economy relies significantly more on work in dangerous industries and occupations including agriculture, resources, construction and transportation.
“Too many de facto partners have previously missed out on compensation due to outdated definitions.
"The announced changes to modernise the definitions of relationships and dependents to ensure that families get the compensation they deserve is welcome.
“It is always more important to prevent work fatalities or injuries rather than have to respond to them.
“Nevertheless, how we signal to employers, workplaces and the community the financial cost of life, can be a deterrent.
“With this reform, there will be fewer grieving families having to face the extra worry about how they will survive financially.”
Statement by Minister Johnston available online here.