Care scheme covers us all


Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - STREET WATCH -

PEO­PLE who suf­fer cat­a­strophic in­juries in a car ac­ci­dent will be en­ti­tled to care and sup­port for the rest of their lives, thanks to new leg­is­la­tion to come into ef­fect from July 1.

The funds to cover the pro­gram will come from in­creased ve­hi­cle regis­tra­tion costs.

WA’s Mo­tor Ve­hi­cle (Cat­a­strophic In­juries) Act means peo­ple who suf­fer spinal cord or trau­matic brain in­juries, mul­ti­ple am­pu­ta­tions, se­vere burns or per­ma­nent blind­ness will be looked af­ter.

The Act rep­re­sents a broad­en­ing of ex­ist­ing third-party in­sur­ance leg­is­la­tion, and means peo­ple who are hurt in an ac­ci­dent that is their fault, or where no fault can be de­ter­mined, will re­ceive com­pen­sa­tion.

The law ap­plies to about 1.8 mil­lion WA mo­torists, but com­pen­sa­tion can be claimed by driv­ers, pas­sen­gers, mo­tor­cy­clists, pillion pas­sen­gers, cy­clists and pedes­tri­ans.

The max­i­mum cost of the in­crease in regis­tra­tion will be $99 in the first year for each ve­hi­cle and mo­tor­cy­cle, with smaller in­creases for trac­tors, mopeds, vin­tage cars and farm fire­fight­ing ve­hi­cles.

The Govern­ment also made changes to the the In­sur­ance Com­mis­sion of West­ern Aus­tralia Act 1986 and the Mo­tor Ve­hi­cle (Third Party In­sur­ance) Act 1943 in or­der to en­able the scheme.

The In­sur­ance Com­mis­sion will han­dle the claims and man­age the Mo­tor Ve­hi­cle (Cat­a­strophic In­juries) Fund to make sure funds are paid out to those in need.

The scheme is not ret­ro­spec­tive, mean­ing peo­ple injured prior to July 1, 2016 can­not claim.

Trea­surer Mike Na­han said the plan was a game-changer.

“I am pleased this leg­is­la­tion has been passed with bi­par­ti­san sup­port,” Dr Na­han said.

“This ini­tia­tive will change the lives of ev­ery­one who is cat­a­stroph­i­cally injured in mo­tor ve­hi­cle crashes who are un­able to suc­cess­fully claim un­der the ex­ist­ing Com­pul­sory Third Party in­sur­ance scheme.”

Dis­abil­ity Ser­vices Min­is­ter Donna Faragher said the leg­is­la­tion would pro­vide se­cu­rity not only for the injured par­ties, but their fam­i­lies as well.

“I com­mend the ef­forts of the In­sur­ance Com­mis­sion of West­ern Aus­tralia for the ex­ten­sive con­sul­ta­tion they have un­der­taken with the health and dis­abil­ity sec­tor, mo­torists and the com­mu­nity in gen­eral,” Mrs Faragher said. “I also com­mend their com­mit­ment to part­ner­ing with com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions in the de­liv­ery of care and sup­port ser­vices.”

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