HISTORIC ASBESTOS LEGISLATION PASSED BY SA PARLIAMENT TODAY

1 December 2005

The Dust Diseases Bill 2005 introduced by No Pokies MLC Nick Xenophon on 9 November 2005 was passed today with bipartisan support. The Bill provides a fast track procedure for asbestos claims in the District Court and removes procedural and evidentiary formalities that delay court hearings.

The Bill also allows damages to be awarded to victims for their loss of capacity to care for others. In an Australian first the legislation overturns a draconian High Court decision (CSR Limited v Eddy [2005] HCA 65) of the 21st October 2005 that prevented, at common law, the children of asbestos victims being able to claim damages for the loss of services of their parent.

Mr Xenophon said:

“I am proud to have introduced this Bill and to have been a part of a piece of legislation that will have a positive effect for a deserving group of people”.

Terry Miller Secretary of the Asbestos Victims Association of SA Inc. said:

“This Bill is very important for our members. It will give them quick access to justice and ensure their families are properly compensated for the terrible diseases they suffer”.

Melissa Haylock, a 42 year old mother of triplets with mesothelioma, who became the public face of the campaign to pass the Bill was emotional when the Bill was passed. Melissa said:

“This is about my children and others like them, and making sure that they are looked after. That was my primary concern”.

The Dust Diseases Bill 2005 introduced by No Pokies MLC Nick Xenophon on 9 November 2005 was passed today with bipartisan support.   The Bill provides a fast track procedure for asbestos claims in the District Court and removes procedural and evidentiary formalities that delay court hearings.

 

The Bill also allows damages to be awarded to victims for their loss of capacity to care for others.  In an Australian first the legislation overturns a draconian High Court decision (CSR Limited v Eddy [2005] HCA 65) of the 21st October 2005 that prevented, at common law, the children of asbestos victims being able to claim damages for the loss of services of their parent.

 

Mr Xenophon said:

 

“I am proud to have introduced this Bill and to have been a part of a piece of legislation that will have a positive effect for a deserving group of people”.

 

Terry Miller Secretary of the Asbestos Victims Association of SA Inc. said:

 

“This Bill is very important for our members.  It will give them quick access to justice and ensure their families are properly compensated for the terrible diseases they suffer”.

 

Melissa Haylock, a 42 year old mother of triplets with mesothelioma, who became the public face of the campaign to pass the Bill was emotional when the Bill was passed.  Melissa said:

 

“This is about my children and others like them, and making sure that they are looked after.  That was my primary concern”.

 

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