‘Once Stop Shop’ for Determination of Compensation Disputes to be Established
Published on August 21, 2019 by and Nathan Hawkins
On 9 August 2019, Victor Dominello, NSW Minister for Customer Service announced that the Government would establish a ‘one-stop-shop’ for disputes involving workers compensation and CTP claims in NSW. The announcement is in response to the NSW Parliament Law and Justice Committee’s 2018 reviews of the NSW Workers Compensation and CTP Schemes which recommended that a single personal injury tribunal be established to resolve disputes in the workers compensation and CTP schemes. It recommended that the proposed tribunal ‘be independent and judicial, with statutorily appointed presiding officers, a judicial appeal mechanism and access to justice and legal representation for claimants,’ and that it should be transparent and support publication of its decisions.
Currently in NSW, the Workers Compensation Commission decides disputes in relation to workers compensation claims. The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA), through the Claims Assessment & Resolution Service and the Dispute Resolution Service, determines disputes in CTP Claims.
A submission made to the Law and Justice Committee’s reviews by the NSW Law Society was that SIRA lacked the independence, procedures and structures in determining CTP disputes and that SIRA, as regulator, should have no role in the dispute resolution process. The Minister’s proposal seeks to alleviate those concerns by expanding the jurisdiction of the Workers Compensation Commission, an already established, specialised, independent and judicial tribunal, to enable it to hear disputes in relation to CTP claims. It is hoped with the establishment of a single ‘one stop shop’ complexities in the dispute resolution process will be reduced and better outcomes will be achieved for injured workers and road users alike.