QIRC decision of Alan Seymour Yarrow (as Executor of
the Estate of the late William David Keith Cameron) v Workers'
Compensation Regulator – WC/2016/6
This matter relates to eligibility for compensation under the
Queensland Workers Compensation Act ('the Act'). In
particular, section 118 of the Act, which is gate keeper provision
that prevents double dipping, with the ultimate aim of ensuring
fair distribution of compensation and maintaining a sustainable
The facts surrounding the claim are sad. Mr Cameron had been
diagnosed with mesothelium after 17 years of asbestos exposure in
New Zealand and 2 years of exposure in Queensland. Through his
lawyers, he made a claim for compensation in Queensland and on the
same date also made a claim for compensation in New Zealand through
the New Zealand Compensation Scheme ('ACC'). Shortly after
he received a lump sum payment from the ACC. This was prior to the
claim being accepted by WorkCover Queensland
The decision to claim in both jurisdictions was deliberate. In
later submissions Mr Cameron's lawyers argued the payment from
the ACC should have no affect on his claim for compensation in
Queensland. It is not clear if there was a practice of seeking
compensation in multiple jurisdictions or if it was limited to this
However, it meant Mr Cameron was unable to comply with section
118(2) which required him to supply a statutory declaration
(a) A claim for payment for the injury under the entitlement under
the law of the Commonwealth or the place other than Queensland has
not been made; and
(b) A claim mentioned in paragraph (a) will not be made.
WorkCover issued a Reasons for Decision advising Mr Cameron was
precluded from seeking compensation as he had been compensated
under another scheme.
Kaden Boriss Legal (Brisbane) were instructed by WorkCover. We
agreed that the position adopted by WorkCover was correct and
drafted submissions to the Regulator to the effect section 118 of
the Act was a pre-condition for compensation with clear effect.
That is, it requires workers to elect Queensland as the
jurisdiction in which they intend to seek compensation and provide
a statutory declaration confirming this.
WorkCover's position was upheld by the Regulator and the matter
then progressed to a hearing in the Queensland Industrial Relations
Commission before Deputy President Kaufman.
During the hearing, the lawyers acting for Mr Cameron's
estate argued the payment from the ACC did not correspond to
compensation under the Act as it was not paid by an insurer to a
worker. However the Deputy President held 'It is the character
of the payment that is at issue, not the means by which, the nature
of the scheme under which, or by whom, it is paid. The compensation
payment made under the New Zealand Scheme was clearly compensation
that corresponds to compensation under the Act. More accurately,
the entitlement to the payment of compensation under the New
Zealand scheme was an entitlement that corresponds to compensation
payment under the Act'.
The effect of attempting to double dip on compensation meant
that Mr Cameron and his estate was barred from claiming a more
significant sum in Queensland after electing to seek compensation
in New Zealand.
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