Speeches

27
Mar

WorkSafe Victoria

Speeches

Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- My question is for the Assistant Treasurer, and it relates to the reintroduction of the Victorian WorkCover Authority (VWA) as the public name, face and brand replacing the now publicly familiar name WorkSafe, which is an eponymous term that immediately conveys its meaning -- not so with the term Victorian WorkCover Authority. The name WorkSafe Victoria has been used since 2007 and has high public recognition. I understand it cost $50 million to establish the branding and assume it will cost millions more to rebrand. My question to the minister is: what is the compelling reason behind the name change from WorkSafe to the Victorian WorkCover Authority?

Hon. G. K. RICH-PHILLIPS (Assistant Treasurer) -- I thank Ms Pennicuik for her question about the Victorian WorkCover Authority.

I must say I am slightly surprised to receive this question from Ms Pennicuik because, President, you may recall in the last Parliament that the Parliament considered legislation amending the accident compensation legislation, at which time it was proposed by the previous government that the name of the entity be changed from the Victorian WorkCover Authority to WorkSafe Victoria.

It was as a consequence of amendments moved in the Legislative Council that that change of name did not proceed, and it was with the support of Ms Pennicuik and the Greens that that change of name did not proceed. That was, I think, 2009 when legislation came to this Parliament which reaffirmed that the name of the entity is the Victorian WorkCover Authority.

Last year this Parliament passed the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013, which will come into effect on 1 July this year and which again reaffirms that the entity we are talking about is the Victorian WorkCover Authority. So the government's position is that the Parliament has twice in the last five years reaffirmed that the entity is the Victorian

WorkCover Authority. We believe it is appropriate that the entity trade under its name, the Victorian WorkCover Authority, and it will be doing that in recognition of the new workplace act coming into effect on 1 July.

Supplementary question
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The minister has slightly misrepresented my position, which is that WorkSafe is the regulator of workplace health and safety and the WorkCover authority is the insurer. In fact it is our position that they should be split into two and recognised as such. In terms of the public branding, the public branding has been under the name 'WorkSafe', and as I mentioned in my question, it cost $50 million to establish that branding, and it is across all the websites, the literature, the letterheads, the inspectors' uniforms et cetera.

My question for the minister is: is it going to cost another $50 million or more to rebrand in terms of changing the public recognition of the name from WorkSafe Victoria to the Victorian WorkCover Authority, and how will the removal of that established recognition assist in the public recognition of the functions of WorkSafe?

Hon. G. K. RICH-PHILLIPS (Assistant Treasurer) -- I can assure Ms Pennicuik it will not cost $50 million to use the name Victorian WorkCover Authority, and it should never have cost $50 million to use the trading name WorkSafe. This government is committed to ensuring that those back-of-house functions and those operational costs of VWA are minimised. This return to the Victorian WorkCover Authority name by VWA, coincident with the introduction of the workplace injury rehabilitation and compensation legislation, will be undertaken at minimal cost. As a rolling change as old materials need to be replaced, new materials will adopt the legal name, but we will certainly not be spending $50 million on this.
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