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Law Council rejects disability proposal

Law Council rejects disability proposal

The Law Council of Australia (LCA) has slammed the Productivity Commission for ignoring its criticism on disability reform.LCA president Alexander Ward said the Commission had ignored the…

The Law Council of Australia (LCA) has slammed the Productivity Commission for ignoring its criticism on disability reform.

LCA president Alexander Ward said the Commission had ignored the submissions to its inquiry on the proposal for a separate disability scheme for catastrophically injured people.

While the LCA welcomed the establishment of a National Disability Insurance Scheme, it strongly rejected the separate scheme cautioning against the erosion of basic legal rights for people who have been negligently injured to seek compensation.

"It is simply unacceptable that the most severely disabled people, many of whom are victims of accidents, should lose rights to legal representation or to appeal against adverse decisions to an independent tribunal," said Ward.

The LCA highlighted that many victims of injuries already have access to "well-functioning and sustainable schemes" in Australia offering no-fault care and support while still permitting access to common law compensation.

"Access to common law under well-governed schemes has been identified as a key reason for their long-term sustainability," said Ward, adding that the prevented access to common law damages in New Zealand had led to a deficit of 17% of NZ's GDP and a threat to the ongoing viability of its accident compensation scheme.

Ward said the LCA wanted to have effective and constructive dialogue with the government and other key parties on the establishment of a fair and equitable scheme.

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