The Member for South Perth, John McGrath MLA, has called for the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 (WA) to be amended so that injured jockeys can gain better compensation payments.
Under the current legislative regime, injured WA jockeys can claim a maximum of $619.50 a week, the same as a stable foreman.
However, in other states they are paid according to average weekly earnings for the 12 months prior to the injury.
Mr McGrath said the system in WA was unfair.
“The earning capacity of most jockeys is considerably more than that of a stable foreman so it is only reasonable that the workers compensation should be commensurate with their earning capacity.” Mr McGrath said.
“Furthermore, jockeys take considerable risks in carrying out their duties. Therefore, it seems reasonable that they be better compensated by the racing industry when injured either riding in a race, barrier trial or trackwork.
“Injured jockeys in other states receive far more in workers compensation than they do in WA — in some states three times as much.”
Mr McGrath conceded that extra compensation for jockeys would come at a considerable expense to the WA racing industry.
However, it was a cost that the industry had a duty to meet.
Mr McGrath also suggested that bringing in such compensatory legislation would be welcomed by visiting jockeys to the Ascot Carnival.
“I understand some of the interstate riders here for the Ascot Carnival have taken out their own personal insurance as a safeguard against the inadequate compensation for jockeys in Western Australia,” he said.
Mr McGrath said he had been in discussion with WA Jockeys Association President Bernie Ryan and he had also written to the Minister for Commerce, Troy Buswell requesting that the legislation be amended.