In a blow to asbestos sufferers and their families, the Baird Government last night abolished the management board which oversees compensation claims for victims.

The NSW Legislative Council last night passed both the Workers Compensation Amendment Bill and the State Insurance and Care Governance Bill – which entail large scale changes to workers compensation in the state.

These bills have killed off the highly regarded Dust Diseases Board – which oversees claims lodged by asbestos victims.

The bills have also failed to repair the damage done by sweeping reforms introduced by the Liberals in 2012 – including severe limits to medical claims, delays to medical treatment and significant cuts to weekly payments for injured workers.

Further, the legislation means injured workers will continue to be denied crucial access to legal advice and support in the early stages of compensation claims.

The Government will now spend more than $65 million a year on clinical assessments to fight compo claims instead of real medical treatments to rehabilitate injured workers.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Finance, Services and Property Clayton Barr

“What the Baird Government has done here is cruel, callous and cold.”

“The Dust Diseases Board has helped tens of thousands of asbestos victims for decades – it was a board full of experts which could assess and process a claim within 24 hours.”

“Instead of a helping hand to heal injured workers, what we have now is another bureaucracy charged with kicking them when they’re down.”

“Mike Baird likes to pretend he’s compassionate, but he’s just slashed crucial help to families who need it the most.”