The Minns Labor Government has launched an operational review into icare to cut excessive spending, waste and salary costs.
The review comes after a decade of mismanagement of the State insurer under the former Liberal-National Government, with the NSW Government having to top up the insurer with a $669 million transfer shortly after coming to government.
Examples of mismanagement under the former Liberal-National government include overseeing an $18 million contract awarded to a Liberal Party printer and major donor under icare’s previous board and management.
The number of senior executives and their remuneration will be scrutinised as part of the review, in line with the NSW Government’s commitment to freeze the pay and cut the number of senior executives across the government. Medical, income and other support provided to injured workers are not impacted by this review.
The review will be led by Treasury, after the Minns Government passed new laws to provide it with powers to obtain information and records on icare spending.
Savings identified in the review will flow through to individuals and businesses across New South Wales by putting downward pressure on workers compensation premiums and protecting benefits to injured workers.
The review is expected to report in time for icare to identify permanent savings in its net cost of operations by 1 March 2024.
The review follows previous reforms to icare implemented by the Minns Government, including the passage of new laws in August to put worker and business representatives onto the icare board.
The Minister for Work Health and Safety, Sophie Cotsis said:
“Sadly, it will take years to correct the workers compensation mess that we inherited and I don’t want to give anyone false hope.
“We will remain unrelenting in our pursuit of best practice and best governance at icare, this review continues the long but necessary road of reform that began within weeks of Labor coming to government.
“Businesses need access to a scheme with affordable premiums and workers need to be supported when things go wrong at work”.
Minister for Industrial Relations
Minister for Work Health and Safety