NSW & Qld Legislative Updates

by Vanessa Rowley – General Manager, WCD – Workers' Compensation Solutions

New South Wales

The Workers' Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2012 introduced a number of changes to workers' compensation benefits. The Act was passed by Parliament on 22 June 2012 and assented on 27 June 2012. These changes were outlined in our previous report.

In recent months, there has been a significant increase in dispute applications in the Workers' Compensation Commission. In 2012, the Commission registered over 17,000 applications being a 44% increase in registrations for the 2011 year.  In the first three months of 2013, there have been approximately 5,000 applications filed.

There are several cases currently within the Workers' Compensation Commission and the Court of Appeal awaiting determination on liability and entitlements with respect to the new amendments.  WCD are maintaining a close watch on the test cases as the rulings will have a significant flow on effect to other claims and may possibly lead to further amendments in the legislation.

For more information please contact Stephanie Tang on 02 9745 1100.

Queensland

The Parliamentary enquiry, mentioned in the last report, has been put back until May to allow more time for stakeholders to comment.

The enquiry covers:

  • The performance of the scheme in meeting its objectives under section 5 of the Act;
  • How the Queensland workers' compensation scheme compares to the scheme arrangements in other Australian jurisdictions;
  • WorkCover's current and future financial position and its impact on the Queensland economy, the State's competitiveness and employment growth;
  • Whether the reforms implemented in 2010 have addressed the growth in common law claims and claims cost that was evidenced in the scheme from 2007-08;
  • Whether the current self-insurance arrangements legislated in Queensland continue to be appropriate for the contemporary working environment; and
  • Whether in conducting the inquiry, the committee should also consider and report on implementation of the recommendations of the Structural Review of Institutional and Working Arrangements in Queensland's Workers' Compensation.

For more information please contact Karen Wilson on 07 3457 8716.

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