The Rann Government had to explain why at a time of a looming crisis for WorkCover the WorkCover Board had only met six times last year, Liberal MLC Rob Lucas said today.
“The Register of Boards and Committees tabled in Parliament shows the WorkCover Board only had six Board meetings last year, which was about half the number of Board meetings held over recent years (as shown below),” Mr Lucas said.
Year Board Meetings held
“WorkCover Board Members, such as the Premier Mike Rann’s close friend Philip Bentley, were being paid $32,660 for Board meetings and additional payments for sub-committee meetings. Mr Bentley has now been appointed Chairman with a payment of $65,320 per annum.
“It is almost unbelievable that at a time when the WorkCover unfunded liability was exploding toward $1 billion that anyone could believe the appropriate response from the WorkCover Board was to reduce drastically the number of meetings it held.
“In fact, during 2007-08 there was growing criticism of WorkCover management and implementation of many decisions such as those appointing monopoly claims managers and legal representation. In addition the Board should also have been considering the early signs of a looming global financial crisis as well as the impacts of the final legislative changes on the scheme.
“Now that Mr Bentley has been appointed Chair of WorkCover and Peter Malinauskas (the head of the powerful right faction union – the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association) has been put on the Board it will be interesting to see how many meetings were held in the last six months of the financial year.
“It is now up to Mr Rann and his Government to explain how it was good corporate governance for the WorkCover Board to have only six Board meetings last year.”