Legal community welcomes review of SA CTP scheme
26th Nov 2012
Australian and state peak legal bodies, the Australian Lawyers Alliance and the SA Law Society, are welcoming the SA CTP insurance White Paper report by SA Treasurer Jack Snelling, but warned administrative review was crucial to success of any such scheme.
“This is a critical review and the addition of a catastrophic injury scheme is a great initiative; and, while the scheme is currently in reasonable shape, complacency is not appropriate,” SA Law Society President, John White,” warned.
"All South Australians deserve a fair go on compensation, but we also must be careful about protecting individual rights,” he said.
Mr White said it was important for this generation to ensure a financially viable scheme was implemented that would best serve the 21st century.
“All key options for reform need to be examined carefully, including introducing competition for insurance and ensuring efficient management for any scheme,” Mr White said.
Australian Lawyers Alliance SA President, Pat Boylen, reinforced his view of this need.
“Increased management costs to the scheme also need to come under the spotlight, along with competition in delivering insurance,” Mr Boylen said.
“If there has been a recent increase in costs to the scheme then the Inquiry and the public need to find out why.
"Improving rights by including a catastrophic injury scheme has great merit, but it need not come at the cost of sacrificing other important current legal rights,” he said.
“The reality is that taking away citizens’ rights is unlikely to be the best way to protect South Australians or deliver an economically sustainable scheme in the long run. We need to ensure we examine international best practice on how these schemes work.”
“This is not a simple zero-sum game and, as a smart state, I am confident Parliament will ensure we review all options to deliver South Australians a quality and economically viable scheme, which doesn’t come with the hidden cost of any unnecessary loss of rights.
"The Treasurer is suggesting that claims for relatively minor injuries will go in the suggested reforms. This is not a change that can be justified. There doesn’t need to be any sacrifice of individual rights, and it will be crucial that Parliament does its due diligence before any reforms are finalised,” Mr Boylen said.
The Law Society and the ALA look forward to reviewing the White Paper and having constructive dialogue with the Treasurer and most fundamentally key stakeholders in the disability sector regarding these issues.
“In the end we want a scheme that delivers important improvements for those with disabilities,” Mr Boylen said.
“There are also critical national reforms coming before the Federal Parliament with the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the National Injury Insurance Scheme. We need to consider carefully the implications of any reform we enact,” he said