Workers comp premium reductions a much needed relief for QLD business, Ai Group

“The Queensland Government’s decision to reduce workers compensation premiums by an average of 17% from 1 July is a much needed shot in the arm for industry in the State,” Ai Group Queensland Director Jemina Dunn said today.

“The Queensland Government has taken some difficult but necessary decisions in the last 12 months in reshaping the Queensland workers compensation system and today we are seeing these efforts bear fruit.

“While reductions will vary within sectors, we are pleased to see both Manufacturing (18.3%) and Construction (17%), two critical components of Queensland’s economy, both achieve sizable premium reductions. This is critical at a time when business conditions are tougher than ever, costs are rising and business confidence remains sluggish.

“In recent years Queensland workers compensation premiums have been on an upward trajectory. Ai Group has for a long time been leading the campaign to reduce these costs and today’s decision is recognition of that hard work,” Ms Dunn said.

Weather Forecasts from Weatherzone

The OPEA are pleased to announce that members will have access to a quarterly video update on weather forecasts provided by Weatherzone  meteorologists.

The reports will include:

  • Quarterly video updates for OPEA
  • Presented by  Weatherzone Meteorologists
  • Inclusion of relevant Weather graphics
  • An historical  overview  of  the  past  12  months  temperature  and  rainfall  patterns (focusing on the most recent 3 months)
  • Detailed  Opticast  Forecasts  for  the  next  3-12  months,  highlighting the most likely rainfall outcomes
  • An  explanation  of  the  drivers  of  the  outlook,  including  La  Nina  and  El  Nino  (if applicable to the forecast)
  • A conclusion section highlighting key points.

The first video update will be presented at the OPEA AGM on August 8, 2014 in Sydney.

Industry Skills Fund (ISF)

The Government will provide $476.0mn over four years to establish the Industry Skills Fund (ISF) from 1 January 2015 to support the training needs of small to medium enterprises which cannot be readily met by the national training system. Industries targeted will include: health and biomedical products; mining, oil and gas equipment technology and services; and advanced manufacturing, including defence and aerospace.

The ISF is expected to deliver 121,500 training places (providing participants with qualifications, skill sets and recognition of both prior learning and current competencies) and 74,300 support services (including mentoring and foundation skills) over four years. Businesses will be required to make co-contributions towards the cost of training on a sliding scale depending on the size of the enterprise.

The ISF will replace the following ten skills and training programs from 1 January 2015, which were collectively worth $1.0bn over five years from 2013-14. This represents a significant reduction in Government support for workplace skills.

  • National Partnership Agreement on Training Places for Single Parents;
  • Accelerated Australian Apprenticeships Programme;
  • Australian Apprenticeships Mentoring Programme;
  • National Workforce Development Fund;
  • Workplace English Language and Literacy Programme;
  • Alternative Pathways Programme;
  • Apprenticeship to Business Owner Programme;
  • Productive Ageing through Community Education;
  • Australian Apprenticeships Access Programme; and
  • Step Into Skills Programme (including additional savings of $0.8mn in 2013-14 by not commencing the programme as scheduled).