Queensland to protect people catastrophically injured in traffic crashes

Media Release

Treasurer, Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships – The Honourable Curtis Pitt

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Queensland Government is considering options to implement the National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIIS) to provide reasonable and necessary care and support for people catastrophically injured in road traffic crashes, irrespective of fault.

Treasurer Curtis Pitt said options to implement the scheme to give Queenslanders the coverage and certainty enjoyed by other Australians had been referred to the bipartisan Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Parliamentary Committee for consideration.

The terms of reference for the parliamentary committee have been set and stakeholders and the community can now contribute to the discussion.

“Unless we act now, Queensland will be the only state or territory in Australia without a lifetime care and support scheme in place by 1 July next year,” he said.

“That’s unacceptable when you consider that each week about three Queenslanders sustain life-changing, catastrophic injuries as a result of a road traffic crash.

“When a catastrophic injury is sustained an individual, it also has significant impacts on the families and carers of those who are injured.

“This scheme will support the individual, their family and carer, and it’s something that Queenslanders will welcome.”

Mr Pitt said around half of all people catastrophically injured in a road traffic crashes are not currently eligible to claim against compulsory third party insurance to fund the care and support they will need across their lifetime.

“Queensland’s current compulsory third party insurance scheme does not provide cover for injured people who are at fault or in situations where there is no negligent party involved.

“It’s imperative that we move to address this issue so that those with catastrophic – injuries, arising from road traffic crashes, get the lifetime care and support they need.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to implementing the scheme after the former LNP government signed Queensland up to a national agreement on minimum benchmarks for insurance coverage in 2013.

“The LNP didn’t implement the scheme, which is why Labor is getting on with the job of delivering it for Queenslanders.

“I would expect bipartisan support from the LNP for this important initiative.”

Disability Services Minister Coralee O’Rourke said the Australian Government Productivity Commission recommended the establishment of the NIIS, in conjunction with the National Disability Insurance Scheme – recommendations which would be delivered by the Palaszczuk Government.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to building a safe and caring community that shows compassion for people with disability, including those who suffer catastrophic injuries,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

“Both schemes are about making sure people with disability can get work, be more involved in the community and improve their quality of life.”

For more information on NIIS and to view the terms of reference for the parliamentary inquiry visit: www.maic.qld.gov.au



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