Champion column: Proposed CTP changes leave us worse off

James Saba of Shine Lawyers

James Saba of Shine Lawyers

Have you simply crossed a road or ever been in a car accident? If this is you, then awareness of the NSW Government’s proposed CTP changes is essential.

It’s natural to zone in and out of news items that involve the law. Many of us choose the shrug-it-off approach whereby we are sure, the laws and the rules being spoken about, affect everyone else but us.

In 2012, NSW residents adopted this approach and the NSW government slashed worker’s compensation benefits leaving thousands of vulnerable people to fend for themselves. They are looking to do it again and slash benefits to people injured on a road.

On September 20, NSW MP Victor Dominello announced a plan to radically change the way injured parties access compensation after an accident. The proposed laws put insurance companies in control of directing medical treatments, limit an individual’s rights to receive payments for lost income and remove access to legal representation.

What it means is, if you are injured crossing a road, driving a car, or even as a passenger, and your whole body impairment is assessed at less than 10 per cent, you would be left to fight with the insurer for significantly reduced compensation, all on your own.

It wouldn’t just be your payout left in the hands of your insurer, but your medical and treatment plan as well. If you’re wondering what falls below the 10 per cent threshold, it includes spinal, cervical and pelvic fractures as well as post-traumatic stress disorder.

All of these injuries could prevent you from returning to work but under this new scheme, you’d only receive limited benefits for five years after which, you’d be left to start again on your own, without skills or income.

Imagine you were a 25-year-old labourer involved in this sort of accident. Not only would you hit 30 not having worked for five years but you’d be left to start from scratch; forced to retrain and enter the workforce as a newcomer.

These changes affect everyone and that’s why this month, Shine is throwing their support behind the “Save Our CTP” campaign. Sign the petition and protect your rights before they’re taken away.

If you have any legal questions or issues you’d like addressed in the paper, why not email

James Saba, Shine Lawyers