NSW WIRO Executive Kim Garling racked up $15k on US trip


SACKED Finance Minister Greg Pearce’s hand-picked $300,000 a year WorkCover Review (WIRO) executive Kim Garling racked up a $15,000 taxpayer-funded bill on a trip to the US within months of taking the job – and has just two serious complaints to consider at present.

Greg Pearce WorkCover appointee Kim Garling racked up $15k on US trip

kim-garling-wiroWhen WorkCover reforms passed government, crossbenchers negotiated that a WorkCover Independent Review Officer be set up and Mr Pearce infamously appointed his personal secretary’s husband, former Law Society president Mr Garling.

Premier Barry O’Farrell sacks finance minister Greg Pearce

But despite having 31 staff and the office costing $8.4 million a year to run, Mr Garling was forced to admit the office had received just 350 complaints in almost a year in the job.

Of those, 50 matters are outstanding – only two of them “serious”.

Mr Garling, who was the centre of controversy after he immediately appointed Mr Pearce’s chief of staff Jo McCafferty’s husband Anthony Johnston as his acting Director of Information Technology – a temporary contract which has since ended – said in all his office had received 4000 calls since it was set up last September.

Greg Pearce’s office raided

There is no suggestion either Mr Garling or Mr Johnston’s appointments were without merit.

From February 5 to 14, he admits, he travelled at taxpayer expense to the USA to visit the offices of the Workers Compensation Board in Los Angeles and the offices of Workers Compensation Ombudsmen in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas as well attending a meeting of the American Bar Association in Dallas

“The proposed travel was approved by the then Minister,” Mr Garling said.

The cost of the trip was $15,255.25 – $8753.74 for the business class airfare and $6519.51 on internal flights, taxis, accommodation and per diem allowance.

Mr Garling said the more than 4000 calls to 13WIRO workers compensation complaints line between October 2, 2012, and June 30, 2013 “range from matters which my office is able to answer quickly to matters of more serious concern about either the systems or the conduct of  insurers”.

Minister Greg Pearce punished with a month-long holiday

“These may also involve information being received from injured workers by way of email with further information to assist with the review of the matters of concern,” he said.

“Of those contacts my office has been able to obtain prompt responses (generally within 48 hours) from the insurers, who have been very co-operative in seeking solutions to the matters of concern.

“Of those contacts the Complaints Division considered about 350 as requiring further consideration.

“Most of these matters have been closed however as at 30 June 2013 there were about 50 matters still to be finalised.

Greg Pearce refuses to talk about alleged travel rort

“I regard two of them as being in the serious category.”

Mr Garling, in answering questions about his travel, said he had also “travelled to Melbourne at the invitation of the Personal Injury Education Foundation to deliver a paper on the operation of the WIRO.”

A spokesman for Mr Pearce’s replacement, Finance Minister Andrew Constance, said: “I’ll be meeting with Mr Garling to discuss a number of issues.”


By Workcovervictim3

Source: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/greg-pearce-workcover-appointee-kim-garling-racked-up-15k-on-us-trip/story-fni0cx12-1226708616495

This post has been seen 1026 times.

12 Responses to “NSW WIRO Executive Kim Garling racked up $15k on US trip”

  1. How many critical medical operations for injured workers could this money have funded ?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. what does he need to go to the US for. there system is a lot fairer than ours is he trying to sell off the idea to insurers so that he will receive kickbacks.

    as for the complaints the reason they dealt with quickly is because your complaint is dismissed as soon as you call due to the legislation which sides with the insurer always.

    also why do the injured get cut off immediately yet the insurers are given time to respond without penalty.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. Hmmmm 31 staff and a office costing 8.4 mill a year to run? What are they all doing then? Why does it take 3 months to look into my matter of funding me a solicitor for pain n suffering…because they know I’m entitled to it and they’re stalling until the high courts decision about the Goudappel case! And they know injured workers who were luckily booked into the workers comp commission are now deservedly getting paid for section 67 pain and suffering. WIRO should immediately be dismantled!! Just another hurdle to jump through delaying the process.

    The truth about WIRO needs to get out there….how can Kim Garling can get away with this????

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. This link may be of interest:

    Kim Garling’s resume is also posted on the WIRO website:

    How can someone be ‘selected’ to be the WorkCover “Independent” Review Officer (WIRO – a job and organisation that was solely created & introduced as part of Pearce’s disgusting WC legislation), whilst their resume clearly states that they recently ‘avoided claims’ and ‘successfully denied’ matters in favour of insurance companies whilst Principal of their own Law firm…

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. This is standard behaviour for appointees by the O Farrell government. Is anyone surprised? Before O Farrell got elected there was never a mention of any of this, no amendments to WC, no WIRO, nothing. Let this be a warning for the future, never ever trust a political party which accepts donations or handouts from Insurance companies and never ever trust political parties which side with business. Why don’t we have laws against ‘Cronyism’?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. It would be interesting to hear the outcome of some of those complaints to insurers. 8.4 million is sufficient for any department to achieve a positive outcome for injured workers.
    It would do miracles if it was given to NSW nurses to run their hospitals.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. Wiro decisions for all those interested in the way decisions are being deemed following work capacity benefit denial


    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Goudappel Special Leave Application, the latest information is that the application may be heard on 6 September 2013.


    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. At A Loss,

    Yes, this was written and was also our understanding, however at our WCC dispute hearing last week, the WCC Arbitrator involved made the direct comment that it has been extended out to the 15th October, and neither lawyer seemed to flinch at that comment…

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Jan from what I could gather DI MATTEO is listed for October .
      alas we the injured are kept in the dark like mushrooms. For the arbitrator to make that comment then one has to believe, as they are more in the know.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. Thanks At A Loss, I’ve looked again and the WIRO Wire dated 5 Aug stated that “the application may be heard on 6 Sept 2103”. However the WIRO Wire dated 14 Aug advises they have been made aware of “a further delay in the consideration by the High Court of the Special Leave Application” but no date was given.

    The Goudappel decision was definitely being discussed (with Spinelli also being referenced), and I would love to be wrong on this one. Would like to hear more from anyone who has any further idea of what’s happening.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Jan
      all I could find
      Spinelli v Integrated Labour Network Pty Ltd will determine whether the amendments to the lump sum entitlements apply to
      claims by a worker injured on or after 1 January 2002, who has made a claim for lump sum compensation pursuant to
      sections 66 and 67 of the 1987 Act prior to 19 June 2012, so as to disentitle them from making a further claim for lump sum
      compensation pursuant to s 67 of the 1987 Act on or after 19 June 2012 in respect of additional permanent impairment
      resulting from the same injury. A further issue which will be determined is whether the changes prevent a worker injured on or
      after 1 January 2002 and whose injury is the subject of a Medical Assessment Certificate issued before 19 June 2012
      precluded from undertaking a further medical assessment by an Approved Medical Specialist on or after 19 June 2012 for the
      purpose of a claim for:
       lump sum compensation pursuant to s 66 of the 1987 Act;
       lump sum compensation pursuant to s 67 of the 1987 Act;
       work injury damages.
      Goudappel’s judgement is likely to ensure that the decisions in Di Matteo and Spinelli fall in favour of the workers with the end
      result being none of the lump sum impairment claim amendments apply to lump sum claims arising from injuries sustained
      prior to 19 June 2012 where the worker has made any form of compensation claim before that date.
      However the judgement in Goudappel will not have a flow on effect to the reforms that impact on benefits and entitlements
      other than lump sum entitlements, such as the changes to weekly compensation entitlements, the introduction of work
      capacity decisions and the changes to journey claims. The transitional provisions for the other benefits and entitlements were
      not crafted in the same way as the transitional provisions for lump sum entitlements.
      There is no doubt we will now see an influx in lump sum impairment claims under the old section 66 and 67. However we
      wonder whether the NSW Government will introduce legislation to overcome the effect of the Goudappel decision.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0