Wednesday, 17 June 2015
MAC Attack: Urgent Review Required for Injured Motorists
Independent MLC John Darley, supported by Dignity for Disability MLC Kelly Vincent, is calling for a Parliamentary Committee to report on the impacts of the Lifetime Support Scheme and the Compulsory Third Party Insurance scheme on persons injured in motor vehicle accidents.
In 2013, the Weatherill government made changes to compulsory third party insurance for motor vehicles. The changes prompted widespread concern from industry and stakeholders that those injured in motor accidents would be worse off under the new scheme. An amendment was inserted into the Act requiring a legislative review into the operation of the Act and in particular the effect the changes have had on persons injured in motor vehicle accidents.
This follows on from Kelly Vincent’s warning during parliamentary debate in April 2013 that the government reforms were all about cash incentives for voters nine months out from an election, rather than any concern for the impact on injured road users.
In 2014, the government revealed their plans to sell off and privatise the Motor Accident Commission (MAC) which administers the state’s compulsory third party scheme. Any review into the effectiveness of the changes to the Act and the scheme will be rendered useless if it occurs after the MAC is sold.
“The fact of the matter is that the new scheme has had a disastrous effect on compensation payable to motor vehicle accident victims,” John Darley said.
“The fact that the a person who loses an eye in the workplace could receive over $237,000 and yet the same injury incurred as a result of a motor accident only receives a maximum of $22,000 is absolutely nonsensical. Under the old scheme the same injured person could have received nearly $92,000.
“A review must be undertaken as a matter of urgency before the government divests itself of the MAC.”
Adding her support to John Darley’s call, Kelly Vincent pointed out that people with significant disability and injury had been offered a raw deal since the scheme was altered.
“I counselled the government against blanket use of injury percentage tables back in 2013. The deleterious impact of these is now clear – the only relevant percentage now is that the government have the majority of this wrong,” says Kelly Vincent.
“Their failure to take age, personal situation or implications on employment into account is having a catastrophic impact. We must conduct a review urgently.”