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The Federal Compo Review, Bill Shorten and $30,000 backrubs which he will consult about next period

Anyone know what's on next period?   Bill Shorten must, that's when he's considering this Review into compo.

You've no doubt seen the media reports about the Compo Review conducted for Minister Bill Shorten.   

Here's a couple of paragraphs from The Age's "Exclusive" report today

The review, ordered in 2012 by Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten, cited a case of taxpayers paying nearly $30,000 for massage therapy that had "no curative effect" and another of a Brisbane-based bureaucrat flown to a Buddhist meditation retreat in Alice Springs to treat his anxiety disorder.

In other cases that have made recent headlines - not mentioned in the review - a Commonwealth public servant was compensated, after a court appeal, for injuries sustained during a "vigorous" sex session in a motel room on a work trip.

And an underperforming Canberra public servant was compensated after she claimed one-on-one counselling sessions constituted bullying.

The reports do not call for cuts to benefits for injured workers but urge a shift from a payout-oriented insurance scheme to one that emphasises rehabilitation and a return to work.

Read more:

Those instances of crazy compo are highlighted in the report

Massage therapy
Buddhist therapy
And there are plenty of other examples of decisions that should have had people sacked, rather than prompting an expensive review.

But what concerns me is press reporting like this from Noel Towel from The Age who had the Exclusive tag today - he makes this observation about the review:

The reports do not call for cuts to benefits for injured workers but urge a shift from a payout-oriented insurance scheme to one that emphasises rehabilitation and a return to work.

That now gets reported as if the reviewers made that finding.   But that is not so.   The Minister directed that outcome.   Here is the sentence in the Terms of Reference:

From terms of reference
and here is Peter Hanks QC's acknowledgement of the direction given him in the Minister's Terms of Reference

No reduction in benefits
Finally, Bill Shorten releases this on Saturday, 30 March 2013.   Easter Saturday.   He has had the report since 22 February, 2013

22 feb 2013

And here now is the best that Bill Shorten, with all his staff, can come up with by way of response more than a month after he's had the report:

"Workplace injuries can take a terrible toll on workers and their families, and can cause a loss of productivity and morale in a workplace,” Mr Shorten said.

“The Gillard Government is determined to create a best practice workers compensation scheme in the Commonwealth jurisdiction.

“It is vital that the Comcare Scheme is focused on early and effective intervention to promote recovery of injured workers.

“It is also critical that employers and Comcare are proactive in supporting injured workers from the point of injury, during rehabilitation and when they return to work.”

“The report provides a range of ideas on ways to improve the operation of the Comcare Scheme while ensuring benefits remain fair and equitable for injured workers, especially those more seriously injured and incapacitated,” Mr Shorten said.

“I want to thank Dr Hawke and Mr Hanks for their work and everyone else who contributed to the review.

“Over the next period, I will be consulting with scheme stakeholders on the recommendations. These consultations will help inform our response to the Review to build a strong and effective rehabilitation and compensation system for workers in the Comcare Scheme.”

Download Src_act_review_report