District Court of WA – Bouwman v Westralian Finance
Company Pty Ltd  WADC 49, Her Honour Wager – heard
4 April 2016
Pursuant to Section 247 Workers' Compensation and Injury
Management Act 1981 (WA) a party may appeal to the District
Court within 28 days after the day on which the written reasons for
an Arbitrator's decision are provided.
In this matter, the Arbitrator's reasons for the decision
were delivered on 16 June 2015 and sent by post to Mr Bouwman's
lawyers on the same day. Mr Bouwman eventually filed a notice of
appeal against the decision on 6 August 2015.
As a result, the matter was heard by Judge Wager on 4 April 2016
and was determined on the basis of a preliminary issue, namely
whether the application was made in time. Mr Bouwman represented
himself at the hearing. Her Honour stated at paragraph 4 of her
"I need to determine:
Were written reasons for decision given to the party making
the application for leave to appeal?
If so, when were the reasons for decision given to the
If the application for leave to appeal was made later than
28 days after the day on which the reasons for decision were given
to the party, did the Court have discretion to extend the appeal
It was noted that Mr Bouwman had been legally represented and at
no stage did he notify the Court of a change of address. Her Honour
concluded that the reasons for decision had been appropriately
"delivered" by post to his then lawyers. Her Honour then
noted even though Mr Bouwman swore an affidavit stating he only
received verbal notification of the reasons for decision on 27 July
2015 and as a result filed an appeal notice on 6 August 2015, his
application was still made 46 days after the date upon the reasons
for decision were delivered to his then lawyers. Importantly, after
carefully considering the facts and the law Her Honour concluded
the Court did not have the discretion to extend the time for making
an application for leave to appeal and dismissed the
Parties considering an appeal should therefore ensure they lodge
any application for leave to appeal within the time allowed under
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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