Recent Appeal from decision of WA Workers'
Compensation Arbitration Service Arbitrator to District Court of WA
- AUDINO -v- WA COUNTRY HEALTH SERVICE - WHEATBELT 
WADC 46 - delivered April 2013
This Appeal to the District Court of WA, under the provisions of
the Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act WA (WCIMA),
involves considerations including whether the appeal "involves
a question of law" (as required by WCIMA), whether the
arbitrator denied the appellant procedural fairness, whether the
arbitrator ought to have made a finding on an issue not put to the
appellant and whether the arbitrator gave adequate reasons for
decision and the application of the rule in Browne v Dunn
in arbitration proceedings.
The appellant was employed by WA Country Health Service -
Wheatbelt ("the employer") from 2006 as a cleaner. She
alleged she suffered a hernia in the course of her employment and
made a claim for workers' compensation under the provisions of
Her workers' compensation claim was disputed by the employer
and, as the dispute was not resolved by the conciliation service
process, it proceeded to a hearing before an arbitrator in August
2012. After hearing the matter, the arbitrator found the appellant
had not suffered the alleged injury in the course of her
She appealed to the District Court of WA on seven grounds: that
the arbitrator erred in law by failing to take into account
relevant evidence, denied her procedural fairness in deciding the
issue of credibility, failed to decide an issue without adequate
reasons, failed to take into consideration section 178 of the Act,
made a finding without giving the appellant notice of such a
possibility, considered the absence of a prescribed medical
certificate without first raising this as an issue with the parties
and wrongly disregarded the evidence of Drs Kennedy and Chang, or
alternatively disregarded their evidence without providing
sufficient reasons for the decision.
The appeal decision, handed down earlier this month, provides a
very useful examination of the provisions surrounding the role,
functions and powers of arbitrators in the WA workers'
compensation scheme and also of the framework within which
In February 2013 His Honour Judge Stavrianou DCJ heard the
appeal and delivered his decision in April 2013. He concluded that
grounds 2, 5 and 6 involved a question of law and accordingly that
leave should be granted to bring the appeal. His Honour also
allowed the appeal and quashed the decision of the arbitrator.
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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This was an interlocutory decision about the appointment of a tutor for the child appellant, to carry on his proceedings.
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