find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
New ALA president puts NDIS on top

New ALA president puts NDIS on top

The new president of the Australian Lawyers Alliance, Anthony Kerin, has made the National Disability Insurance Scheme the top priority for the organisation over the next 12 months.

The new president of the Australian Lawyers Alliance, Anthony Kerin, has made the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) the top priority for the organisation over the next 12 months.

Appointed to the role on 1 July, Kerin (pictured) replaced vocal criminal barrister Greg Barns, who will remain closely associated with ALA as the immediate past-president.

Kerin has been an ALA member for 13 years and a director for around six.

“I’m very interested and passionate about the ideals of the organisation,” he told Lawyers Weekly.

“ALA has been able to create and promote its organisation quite well over the last decade, to the extent that there are valuable contributions to be made to debates, about legislative change in particular, in all states and in all jurisdictions.”

Kerin hopes to achieve just this in the coming year, when ALA is again asked to constructively contribute and analyse the NDIS and the National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIIS).

“We’ve got some concerns about the NDIS in terms of how it’s going to materialise. We’re not sure the structure is all that clear yet; as recently as 28 June members were at an address to Parliament in South Australia, which was useful but I don’t know that it answered  a couple of questions that we still have about the NDIS structure,” said Kerin.

Last month, the ALA claimed no-fault schemes like WorkCover were failing and needed close examination before the Government embarked on the NDIS and NIIS ahead of recommended schedule.

“The funding of appropriate disability support services does not have to come at the expense of removing the right to be compensated when physically wronged by another; and taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for injuries caused by such carelessness, particularly when insurers are raking in profits of up to 25 per cent,” he said.

The first piece of funding to pilot the proposed NDIS, at a cost of $1 billion, is expected to deliver $350 million across four years for up to 50,000 people, said Kerin; the rest would go to administrative costs.

There are around four million people with disability and 2.6 million carers in the country (ABS 2009 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers).

“There’s a lot of work we’re doing in this area in different states,” said Kerin.

Outside the disability sector, Kerin said ALA would continue to advocate against legislation like Stronger Futures, which was passed in the early hours of the morning on June 29, the final day before Parliament's winter break.

“The first day in parliament was the day of the Gillard-Rudd vote and we remain disappointed with the rush that took place to formalise these laws. ALA is certainly of view that they haven’t had the analysis that they should have … however it may be a bit late,” said Kerin.

Engendering camaraderie

With around 1500 members representing up to 200,000 people each year in Australia, Kerin said the ALA is a good vehicle to engender a professional camaraderie among plaintiff lawyers.

“[Plaintiff lawyers] are a part of the profession that’s often under attack by insurers or others with vested interests and for whom [ALA] represents perhaps an annoying presence, [but they] have to be dealt with,” said Kerin.

The ALA started in 1994 as the Australian Plaintiff Lawyers Association, when a small group of personal injury lawyers decided to pool their knowledge and resources to secure better outcomes for victims of negligence.

“I think the organisation communicates relatively well but I think it can do better and one of the aims in the next 12 months will be to ensure the lines of communication are clear … there are a lot of members with a lot to offer,” said Kerin, who admitted he was probably the least technologically-equipped president in the history of ALA, but nonetheless vowed to look at the online forum during his term.

“I’m not big on meetings either so I don’t think the number of meetings will increase; I think the meetings that will occur will be more effective.”

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

New ALA president puts NDIS on top
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...