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NSW workers’ comp review ‘an important step’

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The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) says a review of icare by retired Supreme Court judge Robert McDougall will be an important opportunity to consider the performance of the scheme.

The NSW Government announced last week that a scheduled five-year review of workers’ compensation has been brought forward and expanded to include a “root and branch” examination of the state-owned insurer.

“The review will be an important step to determine whether the workers’ compensation scheme is delivering on its policy objectives to support workers who are injured, provide affordable policies and scheme sustainability,” SIRA CEO Carmel Donnelly said.

icare CEO John Nagle resigned last Monday after questioning by a NSW Parliamentary Committee inquiry on governance matters and the performance of the workers’ compensation schemes.

Ms Donnelly was critical of Mr Nagle and icare during the hearing and has called for changes that she says will strengthen SIRA’s ability to oversee the insurer.

Matters within the scope of Mr McDougall’s review include the structure and sustainability of the Treasury Managed Fund and the Nominal Insurer schemes and the relationship between icare and the regulator.

It will also examine the operations, culture and governance of icare, including the effectiveness and accountability of the icare board.

“SIRA will work transparently and constructively to assist the review and to enable the independent consideration of its funding, powers, regulatory approach and statutory independence,” Ms Donnelly said.