The Western Australian Government has approved the drafting of a new workers’ compensation statute.

The Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 is outdated, complex and fails to provide sufficient clarity on fundamental aspects of the scheme.

It will be replaced with a modern Act that is clear, accessible and workable.

Minister for Commerce and Industrial Relations, Bill Johnston, said the current Act has only been amended on a piecemeal basis since it was adopted in 1981, and it’s unwieldy for stakeholders who use and apply it.

“The McGowan Government is prioritising legislative amendments and has already introduced a Bill to improve entitlements for dependents of workers who die at work.

“Rewriting workers’ compensation legislation is an important part of the McGowan Government’s commitment to modernise the state industrial relations system.”

The Bill will implement lifetime care and support arrangements for catastrophically injured workers, delivering on a commitment between the Commonwealth, and state and territory governments.

Amendments will build on the WA Catastrophic Injuries Support Scheme introduced for motor vehicle accidents in July 2016.

Public consultation will occur on a draft Bill before it is introduced into State Parliament, continuing WorkCover WA’s open and consultative approach on the legislative review.

It is expected the new Bill will be introduced into Parliament by the end of 2018.

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