Barry O’Farrell puts the boot into injured workers | #NSWforall #Ausunions #NSWpol

Tom Rigby

Injured Tom Rigby watches the medical bills pile up / Pic: Stephen Cooper Source: The Daily Telegraph

IT’S hardest for Tom Rigby when his young boys want to go out and kick around the footy with him.

Four years ago he was working on the Kurnell desalination plant when he was crushed by a 300 tonne crane. Today he is missing half a foot, muscles from his thigh and half his abdomen.

He doubts he could get a job in the same industry again. While he waits, the medical costs pile up, and he watches his five kids grow up.

“My boys are at the age where they are starting to play rugby and it is hard not being able to get out there with them – when they want their dad to go out and play football it’s not possible,” he said.

NSW compo changes ‘hit the vulnerable’

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THOUSANDS of injured NSW workers will have injury payments axed under tough workers compensation laws expected to pass state parliament today.

NOBODY objects to people being given a fair go. This is the case when someone has suffered a workplace injury and needs  compo.

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His regular medical bills include compression stockings, medication and prosthetics for his foot.

With the new caps on weekly benefits and medical costs, the future is uncertain.

“If I had my accident now it would be devastating. I would have lost everything if I lost medical payments,” he said.

“There is no hope for injured workers now, and you are already treated like a criminal just because you are injured.”

Wendy Lark from the Workplace Tragedy Group was at state parliament yesterday protesting against the changes to the entitlements of families of injured workers who will no longer be eligible to claim compensation for nervous shock or pain and suffering.

She said this was cruel – and would leave many families suffering.

“Politicians are blind to the tragedies that families actually undergo,” she said.


About Darin Sullivan (1980 Articles)
Former President of the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union (2009-2018) and a professional firefighter with more than 30 years experience. I live and work on the NSW South Coast, Australia. I am a strong advocate for firefighters and emergency service workers with an interest in mental health issues and caring for those around me. I am a former Director on the NSW Fire Brigades Death and Disability Super Fund and work with charities including ‘The Movember Foundation’. As a leader and activist I have long been active in the campaign for action on climate change. I am a Station Commander in the fire and rescue service in NSW and have 30 years experience fighting fires, both rural and urban. I am passionate about highlighting the impact climate change is having on fire preparedness and fire behaviour in Australia, and the risks associated with inaction on climate change. I am also a spokesperson for the Australian Climate Media Centre.
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