A debate about workers compensation turned into a spat between Member for Kiama Gareth Ward and member for Shellharbour Anna Watson yesterday.
In Wednesday's debate about the Workers Compensation Amendment Bill Ms Watson said she would "campaign every day" in the Kiama electorate to make sure workers know "he is a sellout and a fraud".
Mr Ward hit back, claiming Ms Watson had sent him "bullying" text messages.
On Thursday Ms Watson issued a press release further condemning Mr Ward's support of the bill.
"Mr Ward has been extremely vocal on all issues COVID-19 related - now, as an independent, he has the opportunity to voice his own opinions, yet is choosing to side with the government on their slashing of workers protections," she said.
"I have had countless constituents contact my office expressing their opposition to this repeal, I don't doubt that Kiama residents are expressing the same opposition. Mr Ward should be more supportive of our front-line workers who have worked tirelessly through the pandemic, risking their health and their families."
The initial amendment was designed to protect essential workers who are diagnosed with COVID-19 by presuming that the virus was contracted in their line of work, and was added to the Act in May 2020 after receiving bipartisan support.
If the current bill is passed by the upper house, that will no longer be the case.
Mr Ward, however, said that would be a win for small business.
"Last time I checked we're coming out of COVID and I don't want to see small businesses paying higher insurance premiums for a virus we've beaten," he said.
"This doesn't take away the capacity of people to claim for injuries at work, it winds back something put in place to deal with the unique circumstance of COVID. We've seen that governments can make change quickly when required, and I'd have no problem bringing it back if necessary."
It's not the first time the two local MPs have butted heads - the two have been sparring partners since 2015.
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