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Media Release - 4 February 2010

16 February March And Rally For ACC Announced

The leadership of the bikers ‘bikeoi’ to Parliament in November last year have teamed up with the ACC Futures Coalition to organise a march and rally on 16 February opposing the Government’s attacks on ACC and supporting a model based on the scheme’s original principles.

“When we came here last year we were concerned about unfair levies,” said Brent Hutchison, organiser of the bikeoi. “We said we would be back, and now we will be – together with other groups who are feeling the impact of what the Government is doing to ACC. In November we were chanting ‘who’s next’ and now we know. It is the worker in the dangerous job, the seriously injured person who is to be forced off ACC weekly compensation on to a benefit, the victim of sexual abuse, the worker who is forced to use up all their holiday pay before being entitled to full weekly compensation and the worker who is deemed to be suffering less than 6% hearing loss. It is all New Zealanders who are next because we all rely on ACC as our backstop, and we will be there on 16 February to tell the Government to leave our scheme alone.”

“New Zealanders do not want their scheme to be cut back and privatised,” said Glenn Barclay, spokesperson for the ACC Futures Coalition. “In 2008 Merrill Lynch advised their clients in Australia that they stood to make $200 million a year from a privatised ACC. That is public money that will go to mainly Australian private insurers. Not only that, but a privatised system will be more expensive, less reliable and less able to address system-wide issues such as injury prevention.”

“This is a short-sighted policy”, said Barclay, “and we are asking New Zealanders to come along and show their opposition to these attempts to undermine our world-leading ACC scheme.”

The bikers and the ACC Coalition are pleased to be working together on this event. The bikers will head to Parliament at 12 noon to listen to some of their own speakers, while others will march from Westpac Trust stadium at 12 noon. The route is along Featherston St, Brandon St, and Lambton Quay, to reach Parliament at 12.30pm. The march organisers are trying to arrange for a delegation to meet ACC Minister Nick Smith on the day.

“Our message is that ACC works for all Kiwis and we won’t let the Government rip us off,” said Mr Hutchison and Mr Barclay.

12:00AM Thursday, 04 February, 2010

 
 
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