Better Business April/May 05


I wish to convey my sincere congratulations to Better Business on its 10th anniversary. Since being elected Member for Lismore I have enjoyed the opportunity of having this column published as another avenue for me to communicate with the business community on the Northern Rivers.

Workplace Fatalities Forum

Due to the serious nature of proposed legislation in relation to Occupational Health and Safety (Workplace Fatalities) Bill, as mentioned in my last Better Business column, I will be hosting a Workplace Fatalities Forum at the Lismore Workers Club Tuesday 12 April, from 5.30-7.30pm. I encourage as many businesses as possible attend this forum in order to become better aware and informed of the implications of this Bill.

Workers Compensation Premiums

WorkCover NSW has released a comprehensive discussion paper proposing reforms to the NSW workers compensation system. The proposed reforms aim to more fairly distribute Scheme costs among employers and provide incentives to improve workplace safety, early reporting of claims and return to work opportunities.

Some of the issues open for consultation are:
the way premiums are calculated for small, medium and large businesses
the extent to which a claim influences a business' premium
refunds to business following fraudulent claims
the way costs of claims are calculated
grouping of related businesses when assessing premium
the excess a business pays when they have a claim
discounts for employers who improve their occupational health and safety

Written submissions close Friday 8 April 2005 and can be forwarded to -

WorkCover Premiums Review
WorkCover NSW
Locked Bag 2906

Or by fax on 92875339 or emailed to Copies of the Discussion Paper can be obtained from my office or the WorkCover website

Record Low Business Confidence In NSW

Indications from local businesses on the Northern Rivers seem to be very positive, however the results of a new business survey indicate that business confidence in NSW is continuing to fall to record low levels and remains the lowest of any state or territory. The results of the survey were a serious indictment of the failings of the Carr Labor Government and confirmed the crippling effect of Carr's anti-business policies. High taxes and unreasonable compliance burdens have clearly taken their toll on NSW businesses. I was recently able to highlight during a Parliamentary debate the concerns and disadvantages faced by Northern Rivers businesses relating to payroll tax and workers compensation premiums, just to name a few, compared to their Queensland counterparts. Should any business be interested in viewing a copy of the Sensis Business Index, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 1800 336 166 or 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403  Email:

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.