CRONULLA MP Mark Speakman defended his role in changes to workers compensation benefits after the opposition predicted workers would be left "crying at his door".
Mr Speakman, a barrister, was deputy chairman of a parliamentary committee that recommended a raft of changes providing the basis for the legislation.
The amendments were passed in Parliament after Premier Barry O'Farrell finally agreed to exempt firefighters and paramedics, as well as police, who were originally the only group to receive special consideration.
Opposition Leader John Robertson said injured workers in the Cronulla electorate had a right to be appalled at Mr Speakman, who was among six government MPs to speak "enthusiastically" on the bill during the debate in the lower house.
Mr Robertson said the changes, which would "throw injured workers and their families on the scrap heap", were largely Mr Speakman's "personal project".
"Workplace injuries can happen to anyone at any time, anywhere," he said.
"This legislation will leave injured workers crying at the door of Mark Speakman's electorate office. By then it will be too late to help them."
Mr Speakman said Labor's "typical mismanagement" had left NSW with a WorkCover deficit of more than $4 billion and growing.
"John Robertson gave a 45-minute speech in Parliament, but not once did he make any constructive suggestion about how to fix the mess," he said.
"Premiums in NSW are already 20 to 60 per cent higher than in Victoria and Queensland. The reforms avoid an imminent increase of 28 per cent in NSW premiums, which a survey shows would have thrown 12,000 workers out of a job."
Mr Speakman said the government would look very closely at how to improve the operations of WorkCover and insurers.
"In the short term, restructuring benefits was the only way to fix the $4 billion mess," he said.
What do you think of the changes to workers compensation?