||Issue No. 325||22 September 2006|
A Values Call
Interview: Australia’s Most Wanted
Industrial: The Fox and the Contractor
Unions: Industrial Wasteland
International: Two Bob's Worth
Economics: National Interest
Environment: The Real Dinosaur
History: Only In Spain?
Review: Clerk Off
Aussie Values DOA
It’s Not Cricket
Kim’s New Platforms
Reaping What You Sow
Roll Out the Tanks
Compo Rights a Burning Issue
In June 2003, the fireworks factory he worked in erupted as the machine he was operating caused gun powder to ignite, setting off a chain of powerful explosions.
Dushan woke from a coma two weeks later with third degree burns to over 70% of his body and an uncertain future with the possibility of never being able to work again.
He also woke to the reality that exists in NSW where he is unable to sue for damages, due to changes to compensation laws introduced by the state Government over the last six years.
The controversial changes were met with strong opposition at the time from Unions NSW and the wider union movement.
The resulting campaign included a mass union meeting that broke all previous records and culminated in a firey picket outside State Parliament in June 2001.
Now a new campaign is being mounted in the lead up to the March 2007 state election to restore personal injury compensation rights that were stripped away under the guise of tort reform.
Named A Fair Go For Injured People, the campaign has seen four peak legal bodies - the Law Society of NSW, NSW Bar Association, Law Council of Australia and Australian Lawyers' Alliance - join forces.
Their aim, according to NSW Bar Association President Michael Slattery is " to educate the public about the impact of the laws in the lead up to the March State election... with the ultimate aim of restore fairness to the system."
Individual stories, like that of Dushan, will be used to highlight the negative impact of the changes to personal injury laws.
Since the accident, Dushan has very little mobility in his upper body which has required constant operations to re-graft skin. Needing around the clock care, Dushan's wife had to quit her job to become his primary carer fulltime.
" Beacause of the accident I have lost everything," Dushan said.
Australian Lawyers Alliance President Richard Royle called the politicians to take notice.
"The Government must hear these voices and amend laws to bring fairness back to the system," he said.
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