Quicker, fairer compensation system for Canberra workers affected by asbestos

June 10, 2016 at 3:22 PM

Canberra workers in a similar situation to that experienced by Bernie Banton will benefit from improved access to compensation, after changes to the workers’ compensation legislation were supported in the Legislative Assembly today.

“I am pleased to announce changes to the Workers Compensation Act 1951 that will allow for streamlined access to compensation for workers suffering from imminently fatal asbestos-related diseases, creating a fairer compensation system,” Minister Gentleman said.

The amendments to the workers’ compensation legislation will allow eligible workers to make a claim with the Default Insurance Fund without first having to exhaust all other avenues for compensation.

“This legislation helps expedite the awful process which Bernie Banton and others experienced attempting to gain compensation for employment related asbestos diseases. Claimants will be able to achieve finality from their end before they pass away. 

Workers will benefit from earlier access to essential services such as medical treatment, rehabilitation expenses and weekly compensation.

Workers will also be eligible for a lump sum statutory compensation payment of $140,505 – this is over and above other entitlements. This lump sum payment will hopefully provide some financial peace of mind for their family.

“In addition to streamlining and offering a fairer process to sufferers, these amendments will also ensure the Territory’s position on the administration of asbestos-related claims is consistent with the majority of other Australian states and territories.

“These changes to legislation will come into effect from 1 July 2017 and are yet another example of the ACT Government’s commitment to ensure that people whose lives have been impacted by exposure to asbestos through their work receive the support they need.”  Minister Gentleman concluded.


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