Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Advisory Council

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1 Annual Report Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Advisory Council Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act

2 Letter of transmittal The Hon Peter Chandler MLA Minister for Business Parliament House DARWIN NT 0800 Dear Minister In accordance with section 15 of the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act, I am pleased to provide you with the Annual Report of the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Advisory Council for Yours sincerely Cathy Spurr Chair 25 September 2012 page 2

3 Contents Letter of transmittal...2 Contents...3 What is the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Advisory Council?...4 What does the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Advisory Council do?...4 Who are the Members?...5 Activities of the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Advisory Council for page 3

4 What is the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Advisory Council? The Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Advisory Council is established by the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act, which came into force on 1 July The Council is a tripartite body that provides advice on possible improvements to the administration of the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act. The Minister for Justice and Attorney-General was responsible for the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act during the reporting period. What does the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Advisory Council do? Section 9 of the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act provides: (1) The Council has the following functions: (a) (b) (c) (d) to keep the operation of this Act under review; to make recommendations to the Minister on possible improvements to the administration of this Act, or the statutory scheme for the rehabilitation and compensation of injured workers in the Territory; to carry out investigations, at the request of the Minister, into questions about the rehabilitation and compensation of injured workers and to report to the Minister on the results of the investigations; to carry out any other functions assigned to it under this Act. page 4

5 Who are the Members? Section 10 of the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act provides: Membership of Council (1) The Council consists of: (a) (b) the Executive Director, NT WorkSafe; and not more than ten other members appointed by the Minister. (2) The membership of the Council must: (a) (b) (c) (d) include members with a wide range of experience extending as far as possible across all major industry sectors in the Territory; and include representatives of organisations representing employers, and representatives of organisations representing employees, in equal or approximately equal numbers. include persons with expertise in the rehabilitation of injured workers; and include persons with expertise in the insurance industry. (3) Before making an appointment to the Council, the Minister must: (a) (b) invite recommendations for appointment to the Council from interested organisations and persons; and consider all recommendations made in response to the notice. (4) The invitation must be published in the Gazette and in any other way the Minister considers appropriate. page 5

6 The Chair Cathy Spurr Halfpenny Lawyers As the previous Chairperson of the Workers Rehabilitation and Advisory Council and as a plaintiff lawyer, Ms Spurr continues to play a key role in representing the interests of injured workers. Ms Spurr interacts with NT WorkSafe on a regular basis and is very active in promoting and improving the rehabilitation and compensation support system. The Members - Current Laurene Hull NT WorkSafe George Roussos NT Chamber of Commerce and Industry Dick Guit Master Builders Association David Sweet NT Resources Council Thomas Mayor Maritime Union of Australia Robert Perry NT Police Association Gerry Goodhand Australian Medical Association Ms Hull is the Executive Director of NT WorkSafe. Ms Hull was previously a solicitor in private practice and has worked for NT Government for the past ten years. She is a member of Safe Work Australia, which was responsible for the national harmonisation of work health and safety laws. Mr Roussos runs his own legal practice, Roussos Advisory Service and is a strong advocate of the NT workers rehabilitation and compensation system. Mr Roussos has played an active role as a member of the Work Health Advisory Council in the past. He is a past president of the NT Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He is Deputy Chair of this Advisory Council. Mr Guit was nominated by the Master Builders Association NT and is a former Work Health and Safety Advisory Council member. He is General Manager, Sitzler Pty Ltd and has project managed many construction projects in both the commercial and residential sectors of the industry. Nominated by the NT Minerals Council, Mr Sweet is a partner of CridlandsMB. Mr Sweet has significant experience in the areas of work health and safety and workers compensation across the mining sector. Mr Mayor is the NT Branch Coordinator of the Maritime Union of Australia. He is experienced in effectively managing work health and safety concerns in the marine related industry. Mr Perry is a representative from the NT Police Association. The NT Police Association has consistently played an active role in the area of workers compensation arrangements for Police. Dr Goodhand is a General Practitioner and the nominee of the Australian Medical Association. He regularly works with patients who are Workers compensation claimants. Mark Crossin Unions NT Colin Chilcott Insurance Council of Australia Michael Huddy Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union. Mr Crossin is the Occupational Health and Safety Officer for Unions NT. Mr Crossin has extensive experience in Workers compensation and rehabilitation. Mr Chilcott is the State Manager - NT,for QBE Insurance and the nominee of the Insurance Council of Australia. Mr Huddy is a Unions NT nominee and the Qld/NT Organiser of Construction, Forestry Mining and Energy Union. Mr Huddy has experience with Work Health and Safety and Workers Compensation in the construction and mining sectors. page 6

7 The Members - Previous Justine Lauders-Searle Transport Workers Union Ms Luders-Searle was a union representative of the Transport Workers Union who has a keen interest in work health and safety matters and Workers compensation and rehabilitation matters. Activities of the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Advisory Council for The Council met four times throughout August November March June 2012 The Council also held a special meeting in October 2011 The Council has addressed or considered: return to work outcomes - Campbell Return to Work Monitor; claims handling issues involving self insurers covered by Comcare; amendments to the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act and a review of the associated guidance and supporting material; the Insurer Best Practice Guidelines and the Internal Dispute Resolution Process cross border legislation; mediation processes including outcomes and adjournments; nominal Insurer claims management; the NT WorkSafe Business Plan; Prioritisation of further amendments to the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act; Clinical Framework for the Delivery of Health Services; and Actuarial Review of the financial performance of the NT Workers Compensation scheme 2009/2010 and 2010/2011. page 7

8 Subcommittee The Council established a Medical Panel subcommittee, which meets out of session. The Subcommittee is considering the functions and procedures for a potential Medical Panel which could deal with the medical aspects of difficult workers compensation cases. The Members are: Dr Gerry Goodhand Chairperson; Colin Chilcott Member; George Roussos Member; and David Sweet Member. page 8

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