SA Implementation of Workcover changes

By: Chris Smith


The South Australian Government will begin implementing a number of its WorkCover changes after the amending legislation was finalised in

The South Australian Government will begin implementing a number of its WorkCover changes after the amending legislation was finalised in the House of Assembly.

State Industrial Relations Minister Michael Wright says those changes will take effect from July 1, 2008.

"The Government’s WorkCover reforms will help us deliver a workers compensation scheme that is fully funded, fair to workers and affordable," he says.

"It is important injured workers receive the necessary assistance to recover and return safely to work as soon as possible.

"These changes will also help deliver a healthy workers compensation scheme that is economically viable for future generations.

"The changes to the WorkCover scheme were proposed by the Government following an independent review, including extensive consultation with interested parties.

"The changes were necessary to address the lowest return to work rates in the country, an unfunded liability approaching $1 billion and nationally uncompetitive levies."

The amendments to commence from July 1 include:

  • Changes to weekly payments
  • The establishment of a WorkCover ombudsman
  • The creation of a $15 million Return to Work Fund Allowing the Auditor General to audit WorkCover statements
  • An increase in Death Benefits to $400,000


It is anticipated that the remaining changes to the WorkCover legislation will be phased in over the next twelve months and include the introduction of:

  • Medical panels
  • Modified work capacity reviews; and
  • Rehabilitation and Return to Work Coordinators


"A sensitive and comprehensive information campaign about the upcoming changes will be provided to all injured workers and interested parties so they are aware of how they will be affected," Wright says.

The Government accepted an amendment to the WorkCover legislation requiring a review of the impact of the changes to be undertaken as soon as practicable after December 2010.

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