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On 11 April 2019 the Australian Government assumed a caretaker role, with an election to be held 18 May 2019.
Information on websites maintained by Comcare will be published in accordance with the Guidance on Caretaker Conventions until after the election and conclusion of the caretaker period.
Under section 104 of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRC Act), the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (SRCC) has the power to grant a licence to self-insure workers' compensation liabilities to eligible applicants. Under s105 of the SRC Act, the SRCC has the power to extend the term of a licence (renewal).
The SRC Act, the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Regulations 2002, (SRC Regulations) and the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Directions 2002 (SRC Directions) set out the requirements for a licence application, what must be contained in the licence application, the matters to be considered by the SRCC in deciding whether to grant a licence and the documentation to be supplied as part of a licence application.
Further details on the licence application requirements and the evaluation process are contained in the publication Guidelines for Licence Application Evaluation. The evaluation of licence applications is performed by Comcare on behalf of the SRCC.
The SRCC has adopted these guidelines to bring clarity and openness to its processes for the consideration of licence applications and renewals.
In developing guidelines for the consideration of licence applications and renewals the SRCC has identified a number of principles to be followed. These are:
- Sufficient time to adequately consider applications
- Opportunity for views to be expressed to the SRCC.
The SRCC is aware of the need for the licence application consideration process to be as open and transparent as possible while recognising commercial confidentiality constraints. To this end, the SRCC will notify the fact that a licence application has been received by the SRCC on the Self-Insurance Applications page. After the SRCC has considered a licence application or renewal the decision outcome will also be notified on the Latest News page.
Entities considering applying for a licence under the SRC Act should be aware that the fact that they have applied to the SRCC for a licence will be notified on the public record.
Adequacy of time to consider applications
The evaluation of licence applications is a complex process which requires information to be supplied from a number of bodies. To allow this process to be conducted with the degree of rigor required and to allow the SRCC sufficient time to consider the amount of often detailed and complex material before it, the SRCC has imposed a minimum timeframe of 12 weeks for the consideration of licence applications and renewals.
The SRCC considers licence applications and renewals at its regular quarterly meetings. Thus at each meeting the SRCC will only consider applications that have been received more than 12 weeks prior to the meeting. A schedule of forthcoming meetings and dates for the lodgement of applications is available.
Opportunity for views to be expressed to the SRCC
To ensure that all relevant material is presented to the SRCC in a timeframe that allows for appropriate consideration, the SRCC has established a process and timetable for interested individuals and bodies to make their views on the licence application known to the SRCC. In making a submission to the SRCC, interested individuals and bodies should state in what way they would be affected by the licence application in the first instance. The SRCC reserves the right to seek the opinions of the licence applicant in response to any views made known to the SRCC by this process.
To allow adequate time for the SRCC to consider any views made known to it under this process such views must be submitted at least four weeks prior to the consideration of the licence application by the SRCC. Views submitted after this deadline will not necessarily be considered by the SRCC. A schedule of forthcoming meetings and dates for the lodgement of views is available.
Consistent with the principles outlined above, the SRCC has established a timetable for its consideration of licence applications and renewals. The timetable establishes minimum timeframes for the lodgement of licence applications and comments on licence applications. Applications and comments not submitted within the minimum timeframes will only be considered at the SRCC's discretion.
|Step 1||Deadline for submission of licence applications||12 weeks prior to SRCC meeting|
|Step 2||Licence application notified on SRCC website||ASAP after Step 1|
|Step 3||Deadline for submission of comments on licence application||4 weeks prior to SRCC meeting|
|Step 4||Consideration of licence application||SRCC meeting|
|Step 5||Notification of SRCC decision on SRCC website||ASAP after Step 4|
Comments by interested individuals and bodies must be submitted to the SRCC by the due date. Comments may be emailed to email@example.com, or sent to SRCC Secretariat, GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT, 2601 (email: SRCC.Secretariat@comcare.gov.au).