Government changes to the Compulsory Third Party insurance
scheme is likely to end up with motorists paying even more for
green slips when registering a vehicle.
The government says its changes will cut the cost of the average
annual green slip by $50 to $75.
But a close examination of details released by the government
reveals the opposite is likely to happen because the changes will
increase the number of claimants by as much as 50 per cent - many
more than the government has estimated. Governments are not very
good at estimating numbers in new schemes - one only has to look at
the cross city tunnel debacle.
Maurie Stack OAM, chairman of Stacks/The Law Firm and former
president of the Law Society, said the new rules change
compensation to a no-fault basis.
"This means for the first time the negligent driver who
caused the accident will be entitled to the same level of
compensation as their innocent victims," Mr Stack said.
"Is it fair that a child walking across the road on a
marked pedestrian crossing should have their rights decimated in
order to make equal provision in compensation for the driver who
hits them while speeding and sending a text message?"
This adds a whole new group of people involved in accidents who
will suddenly be entitled to compensation. Ironically, this will be
the negligent drivers who cause the accident in the first
This must significantly push up the cost of premiums because of
the increased number of claimants. It may take a bit of time, but
the increase is inevitable.
Price rises have already been built into the new scheme
regulations. Insurers have reserved the right during transitional
period of three years to adjust the premium if the new scheme
proves more costly than expected.
"The promised reduction in premiums is illusory and not the
real reason for the changes. The real reason is the politically
correct no-fault approach by the government which is unfair on
innocent victims of negligent drivers."
"The changes slash the level of benefits available for 90
per cent of injured people for loss of income, and they will be cut
off entirely after five years," Mr Stack said.
"People will have to spend huge amounts of their own money
to take out income protection insurance, something that already
exists in the current CTP scheme."
Mr Stack warned that if costs of green slips do rise again the
government will once more cut the rights of those who have the bad
luck to be injured in a vehicle accident.
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The failure of a party to call a witness does not necessarily give rise to an adverse inference being drawn in accordance with Jones v Dunkel (1959) 101 CLR 298. An unfavourable inference is drawn only if evidence otherwise provides a basis on which that unfavourable inference can be drawn.
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