South Australian conference highlights workers comp

20th Jun 2014

The Australian Lawyers Alliance’s South Australian Conference will take place on Friday 20 June 2014 at the Intercontinental Hotel, Adelaide.

Deputy Premier and Attorney-General John Rau will feature as the keynote speaker, to address the topic of South Australia’s failing workers compensation scheme, and the need for reform.

The Conference will also feature South Australia’s first ever Legal Commissioner, Greg May, who will provide an overview of the new SA Legal Practitioner's Act and Regulations to commence on 1 July 2014.

Deputy Premier Rau’s views on the current WorkCover scheme are well known, describing it as “buggered” (The Advertiser 20 May 2014 and In Daily 2013).

 “The Australian Lawyers Alliance has been maintaining for many years that the WorkCover scheme and management requires a fundamental overhaul,” said Duncan Basheer Hannon Partner and Australian Lawyers Alliance SA President Patrick Boylen.

“It is time to stop modifying and rebuilding the old scheme and to get a new one.”

“The new scheme must be sustainable, balanced and clear,” said Mr Boylen.

“To be sustainable, the scheme must be able to deliver over its lifetime an appropriate level of benefits to the injured and appropriate cover to the employer.  Promising a scheme to the injured that cannot be afforded in the medium to long-term does not help anyone,” said Mr Boylen.

“The scheme must be balanced.  It must include lifetime support for the catastrophically injured, appropriately tailored rehabilitation, recognition that some injuries produce ongoing affects both economic and non-economic, the choice of access to common law and the ability for those who wish to or need to leave the scheme, to do so with dignity.”

“The new scheme must clearly set out entitlements and obligations,” said Mr Boylen.

“Since changes in 2008, injured South Australian workers are left floundering and worried as to whether they will continue to receive payments.”

“For five years, South Australian families have had to live with that stress, in addition to their ongoing support of their loved ones.”

The program for the Australian Lawyers Alliance South Australian conference can be accessed here.

Tags: Compensation South Australia Workers' rights WorkCover Workers compensation