‘loophole’ questioned

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‘loophole’ questioned

The tragic death on duty of Lucindale police office Jason Doig has prompted Liberal MLC Ben Hood to query the State Government regarding workplace death compensation.

Brevet Sergeant Doig lost his life in a shooting incident near Bordertown in November and a local man has been charged with his murder.

Mr Hood addressed the Legislative Council last week and referred to capital city media reports the Doig family would not be entitled to compensation following his death while on duty.

“As Brevet Sergeant Doig did not have a partner at the time, nor any dependents, a $585,000 compensation payment that would have been owed to his family was denied, which was described as a legal loophole,” Mr Hood said.

“The Police Association of South Australia has called this outcome ‘outrageous’ and are imploring the Attorney-General Kyam Maher to urgently intervene.

“What advice has the Attorney-General received on this matter and will he heed the calls of the Police Association to intervene?”

In reply, Minister Maher said he had certainly had discussions with the Police Association on this matter and then explained the payments available under the Return to Work Act.

“It has not been designed, and it has not been designed in other jurisdictions, as a compensation scheme for victims of very tragic circumstances we see all too often in terms of workplace deaths,” Minister Maher said.

“Notwithstanding this, I have sought advice and we are looking at whether there are other mechanisms outside a scheme that’s not designed for these sorts of compensation payments like the Return to Work Act, such as the Victims of Crime scheme.”

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