Review of Asbestos-Related Diseases (Occupational Exposure) Compensation Act 2011

Comments close: 14 October 2016

An independent review is being conducted of the Asbestos-Related Diseases (Occupational Exposure) Compensation Act 2011.

Section 187 of the Act requires that an independent review be undertaken every 5 years. This is the first review.

The review is being conducted by Michael Stevens and overseen by the WorkCover Tasmania Board, on behalf of the Tasmanian Government.

Amongst other things, this review will assess the extent the Act provides for:

  • fair and appropriate compensation, and the payment of certain expenses, for people who have contracted asbestos-related diseases in the course of their employment as workers in Tasmania
  • the prompt and effective resolution of applications and payment of expenses
  • certain judgements and agreements about someone contracting asbestos-related diseases in the course of their employment.

It will also examine the asbestos compensation scheme’s:

  • ongoing viability and sustainability
  • performance in terms of entitlements, premiums and coverage.

Mr Stevens will meet with:

  • major stakeholders involved with the asbestos compensation laws
  • a sample of successful and unsuccessful complainants
  • NGOs such as Asbestos Free Tasmania.

His report from the review will be tabled by the Government before both Houses of Parliament by October 2017.

Terms of Reference

Section 187 of the Asbestos-Related Diseases (Occupational Exposure) Compensation Act 2011 (the Act) requires that an independent review of the operation of this Act be undertaken every fifth year from the commencement of this Act. The Act commenced on 30 October 2011.

Scope

The review will assess the performance of the Act against the objectives defined in section 3 of the Act, being to:

  1. ensure the provision of fair and appropriate compensation, and the payment of certain expenses, in relation to the contraction by persons of asbestos-related diseases in the course of employment as workers in connection with this State;
  2. provide for the prompt and effective resolution of applications under this Act for compensation or for the payment of certain expenses;
  3. provide an effective and economical mechanism for resolving disputes relating to applications under this Act for compensation or for the payment of certain expenses; and
  4. make provision in relation to certain judgments and agreements relating to the contraction by persons of asbestos-related diseases in the course of employment as workers.

In addition to, and without limiting the above, it is anticipated that the reviewer will also investigate and report on the:

  • ongoing viability and sustainability of the scheme; and
  • performance of the scheme in terms of entitlements, premiums and coverage.

Timing

A copy of the report of the review is to be laid before each House of Parliament within 12 months after every fifth year henceforth of the commencement of this Act (critical date: 30 October 2017).