Compensation entitlements under threat by proposed legislation (25/13)

Legislation introduced into the Victorian Parliament last week seeks to restrict access to compensation for police injured as a result of being involved in a motor vehicle transport accident or suffering a psychological injury as a result of their role in attending motor vehicle accidents.

Currently, police (and other emergency services workers) who suffer a serious injury as a result of a transport accident are able to sue for monetary loss and pain and suffering if their injury is caused by another person’s negligence.

That right will be severely curtailed if the proposed legislation passes.

Under the proposed legislation, police will also have no right to sue for monetary loss and pain and suffering if they are not a witness to an accident. Obviously police are rarely witnesses to an accident but are exposed to the often horrific aftermath.

Further, the threshold to access common law rights (for members suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, for instance) will be raised to the point where access will be almost impossible.

In response to these concerning proposals, The Police Association is currently in active communication with government representatives in an attempt to resolve this issue before the proposed legislation is voted on by state politicians.

Members are welcome to directly express their concerns about these proposed changes by attending a rally of emergency services workers at 10am tomorrow - Tuesday 29 October - on the steps of Parliament House.

The Police Association will keep members informed on the progress of this important issue.

Bruce McKenzie

Assistant Secretary

Download PDF of this InBrief (25/13)