Thursday, January 20, 2022

Retired judge to lead icare review into worker’s compensation

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Customer Services Victor Dominello today announced they would bring forward and broaden a scheduled statutory five-year review into worker’s compensation.

The Review will be expanded to include a root and branch examination of Insurance and Care NSW (icare) to ensure public confidence in workers’ compensation in NSW.

The Review will be headed by retired Supreme Court Judge, the Hon Robert McDougall QC, who will be assisted by NSW Treasury and the NSW Department of Customer Service.

Mr Perrottet said the Review would look at the operations, structure, finances, management and culture of the workers’ compensation scheme and report back to the NSW Government.

“Before icare was created, the workers’ compensation scheme was failing injured workers and it was formed to provide a robust, sustainable workers compensation scheme that provides exceptional care and support,” Mr Perrottet said.

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“icare represents the most significant transformation of workers’ compensation in this state and challenges were always expected on this journey.”

“In the past few weeks, a number of matters have been identified relating to the operation of icare and the workers’ compensation scheme and we need to ensure these are examined and any problems are properly addressed.”

“It is important the Review be allowed to undertake a proper and thorough investigation and that due process is followed.”

Mr Dominello said the Review would be informed by the recent Compliance and Performance Review of the Workers Compensation Nominal Insurer commissioned by the regulator SIRA.

“This Review will look at issues raised in recent weeks and ensure we continue to improve the system and get the best result for injured workers,” Mr Dominello said.

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Mr Perrottet said he had asked Mr McDougall to specifically include within the scope of the review matters raised in recent weeks that are of significant public interest, including:

  • the structure and sustainability of the TMF and the Nominal Insurer’s workers’ compensation scheme
  • the relationship between icare and the regulator; and,
  • the operations, culture and governance of icare, including the effectiveness and accountability of the icare board.

The State Insurance and Care Governance Act requires that the Minister conduct a review of the Act as soon as possible after the period of 5 years from the date of assent.

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