Personal Injuries and Workers’ Compensation

2018/19 Annual Report

The Committee continued to progress a number of ongoing initiatives from the previous year as well as considering a number of issues that were referred to it from a number of agencies.

Matters dealt with by the Committee included:

  • the controversial issues associated with the growing activity of claims harvesting;
  • monitoring WorkCover Costs Determinations and activities of the WorkCover WA Costs Committee;
  • preparing a submission on the amendments to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme in Western Australia;
  • Continuing representation on the Conciliation and Arbitration Services Users’ Group;
  • Preparing submissions (with Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Committee’s comments) on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse;
  • Monitoring of Law Reform Commissions’ including reform of Fatal Accidents Act; and
  • Reviewing the information provided by the Health and Disability Services Complaints Office in relation to witness fees for doctors and limitation periods.

The Committee remains concerned with the time that some agencies are taking to resolve matters that the Law Society has referred to them including:

  • The Health Department’s reform of regulations applicable to costs recovery from compensable patients which results in legal practitioners continuing to have uncertainty when advising clients regarding claim finalisations.
  • The WorkCover Costs Committee (WCC) for reasonable remuneration for workers’ under the inadequate costs scale. The much discussed but long-anticipated proposal for reforms to the Worker’s Compensation and Injury Management Act have not been provided to the Committee and now appears to be a low piority for the current Government.
  • Proposal to amend the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act which are with the Office of the Attorney General.

The Committee also welcomed new members Bronte De Cuyper and Irena Ferraro following the resignation of Karina Hafford, following her appointment as an Assessor, Criminal Injuries Compensation.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au