Daniel Andrews says budgets are about choices, and in this budget, he’s chosen cost blow-outs over workplace safety. The Victorian 2019-20 State Budget reveals a $700 million dividend raid on WorkSafe to fund Daniel Andrews’ blow-outs on projects like the North East Link, which has blown out from $5 billion to $15.8 billion.
The Andrews Labor Government is set to raid $125 million from WorkSafe in 2021-22, followed by a further $575 million in 2022-23.
These funds are paid into the WorkCover scheme by businesses and are meant to be used to pay out claims, help people return to work, and improve workplace safety.
Raiding these funds also exposes Daniel Andrews’ hypocrisy. In 2012, Daniel Andrews said money in the WorkCover scheme belongs to employers and employees, and that taking dividends from it would:
“…actually hurt businesses and mean fewer jobs”
There is much to be done to improve workplace safety in Victoria, whether it be tackling the hazardous waste crisis, cracking down on bullying or reducing work-related injuries on farms.
Victoria is the highest taxing state in Australia and despite introducing 20 new taxes since first elected, Daniel Andrews is now raiding funds set aside to keep Victorian’s safe.
Nick Wakeling MP
Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety