We stand by our COVID law changes that protect essential workers


In May 2020 Greens amendments secured a presumptive right to workers compensation for frontline workers who contracted COVID when they were keeping us safe and we stand by these protections.

The plan to strip COVID protections from frontline workers in the last Parliamentary days of the year, with no plan for responding to the many sick workers who will need help in the coming months, will be strongly resisted by The Greens.

The protections the Greens put in place last year have meant workers who needed income and medical support could access it without the need to engage in a time consuming and stressful process of proving where they caught COVID-19.

Greens MP and Workers Rights Spokesperson David Shoebridge said: "These reforms are there to protect frontline workers like nurses, teachers, bus drivers and retail workers who have a higher risk of being exposed to COVID in their workplace.

"Without these laws the people who have been keeping us safe, keeping us fed, keeping our city running won't have the protection they deserve if they catch COVID.

"Rather than wind back the existing protections we should be making changes to create a pathway so that any worker who catches COVID at work can get the support they need. Just ripping out the presumption from the law utterly fails to deliver this and we will oppose it.

"It's next to impossible to prove you caught COVID at work rather than at home or on public transport getting to and from work - that's why these laws are there to protect frontline workers.

"No one should trust the government's inflated costs of more than half a billion dollars. The government's numbers are based on outdated Doherty Institute modelling for 80% vaccination rates and are wildly inflated.

"When we initially put these reforms forward these same government actuaries said the cost would be up to $8 billion. The actual cost of these amendments to date has been under $20 million," Mr Shoebridge said.