In issuing a statement this week, the ACT Law Society said negotiations conducted by the Barr government and the ACT Greens have failed to address significant flaws in the proposed CTP scheme.
The negotiations between the Greens and government come after the former opposed the latter’s proposed CTP scheme in January this year, saying that most injured people would be worse off if the scheme proceeded in the form it was in at the time – something the ACT Law Society backed them on.
In the statement this week, ACT Law Society said rather than addressing some of the primary concerns, the Greens and government have now “put forward a series of ad-hoc changes that will push the proposed scheme from incoherent to utterly unworkable”.
“The proposed changes will do nothing to protect innocent road users from having their rights stripped away and handed to the insurance companies in the form of increased profits,” it said.
The society noted that the government and Greens are deliberately “choosing to ignore the hundreds of people who will no longer receive proper compensation”.
“The society has consistently supported the inclusion of all injured people into the scheme, it strongly opposes doing so at the expense of innocently injured victims,” it said.
“This is exactly what the Barr government and, it seems, the Greens are proposing to do. Under the proposed scheme, most innocently injured people will no longer receive common law damages, and their ability to receive income replacement as well as treatment and care will be decided at the discretion of insurers.
“Under the proposed scheme, claimants, without legal representation, will have to repeatedly argue their case before ACAT if they wish to dispute an insurer’s decision in relation to necessary treatment and care, loss of income, or capacity to work.”
In conclusion, the society said: “The reported deal between the ACT Greens and the Barr government has major failings”.
“The society calls on the Greens to hold the government to account and to continue to work to ensure the ACT’s CTP scheme is not dismantled in this unfair and unjust manner.”
Emma Ryan is the deputy head of editorial at Momentum Media and editor of its legal publication, Lawyers Weekly.
She graduated from Charles Sturt University with a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism).