Workcover NSW Goudappel case – Special leave application granted


NSW Workers Compensation Law – “Adco Constructions Pty Limited v Goudappel & Anor” – Special Leave Application granted on 11 October. The matter will now proceed to the hearing of the Appeal before the High Court.

Workcover NSW Goudappel case – Special leave application granted



On Friday 11 October 2013 the High Court of Australia granted special leave to ADCO Constructions to appeal the decision of the New South Wales Court of Appeal. The matter will now proceed to the hearing of the Appeal before the High Court.

We will provide more details as they emerge.

View our Goudappel related articles here>>

As our co-author Madame Zena stated in the comment section of our “I need help” page:

Article published in a legal circular on 14 October:


The introduction of the Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2013 (“the Act”) in June 2012 has radically changed the workers compensation legislation.

This has caused confusion and constant revision of the law. With this much uncertainty surrounding workers entitlements, legal advice can only be given based on possibilities. The recent case of Goudappel v Adco Constructions Pty Ltd [2013] shed some light on which claims would be affected, and it appeared that workers who had made a claim pre 19 June 2012 would still have their rights under the old scheme for section 66 permanent impairment and section 67 pain and suffering.

The new scheme abolishes compensation under section 67 for pain and suffering and restricts any claims for compensation under section 66 not greater than 10% whole person impairment.

However, as the legislation is put to challenge, it appears that workers are once again controlled by the bodies that enforce it. The employer involved in the Goudappel case filed an application in the High Court to seek leave to appeal the Court of Appeal’s decision. As the case of Goudappel has now been granted leave to appeal to the High Court, many workers will have no certainty relating to their claim until it is determined, a process which could take months. An independent WorkCover body, WIRO, has announced that all section 66 and section 67 claims will be on hold until the pending case law is determined. This decision delays the process further and adds to the frustration experienced by claimants.

To add more to the workers worries, the work capacity assessments have commenced and workers are receiving notification by way of phone and letter stating that their weekly payments are more than likely to be stopped. Workers who have been on compensation for years, some with no capacity and others who are unable to secure employment will be forced to face it alone without the help of the legal profession. An injured worker commented to me recently, “I went to court, I was awarded my weekly payments till I was retirement age and now that is worth nothing.” Even those who have endured the long road to fight for their entitlements will be subject to the new work capacity assessments.

Retrospective law is always a challenge, but to cut the legal profession from advising lay people is wrong. Many have no legal background and some have limited literacy skills and speak English as a second language. They will find it very difficult to deal with this challenging system. It is expected that many workers will give up on pursuing a claim, adding additional strain on Centrelink and Medicare.

51 Responses to “Workcover NSW Goudappel case – Special leave application granted”

  1. I am extremely concerned about what the NSW government will do if they lose Goudappel which they probably will do. Today in the Sydney Morning Herald there is a report about Chris Hatcher (Energy Minister) trying to pass legislation to stop a commercial court case which is currently in progress. The government is involved in this case and it appears that Hatcher is trying to manipulate the law (bet the cash payoffs can be easily found if the media even bothered) by interfering in the trial. The law he envisages for this involves ‘retrospectivity’ anyone surprised??? Of course there is opposition to it, but my concern is that the NSW government is trying to override the law. Thankfully their options with the High Court are limited with Goudappel as they are the highest court in the land and can legally overrule the state government, however expect delays and challenges, bet all those who voted for them did not expect dictatorial behaviour and yet that is what is happening. Here is the story –

    Minister Chris Hartcher’s ‘outrageous’ intervention in legal row over gold mine

    Read more:

    • They have grown too big for their shoes, a little stronger than the almighty God.

      What they don’t know, such things backfire? To save few bucks, they’d lose billions, as businesses don’t care which country or state they operate in. They count on profit. Once that would be snatched away, they would find a better place to do business. Many other countries would roll a red carpet.

      • Phil its happening as we speak,

        Ford Australia
        Almost every call centre

        there is probably a list of companies that have moved off shore

    • Bunny I share your concerns, the problems we face is the O’Farrell regime will simply create new legislation to get their way, if the High court rules in favour of Goudappel which we all feel will happen, then that Maggot will simply re-legislate to by-pass the high court and keep his insurance kickbacks flowing. The only thing on our side at the moment is that he has alienated the shooters party and he needs them to pass legislation.
      This is probably why that idiot Hatcher is interfering in a legal case
      1 . to protect his kickbacks and his Master O’Farrell
      2. because they don’t have support of the Killers Party to pass legislation their only avenue is to interfere in legal proceedings
      3 I would bet if investigated by icac it would make Obeid look like an angel

    • It is a roaring business. Don’t forget it is your money sitting in their pocket. The fight may be long, but you will get what you were entitled to. I’m damn sure.

  2. We would be at a loss without At A Loss

  3. Another very interesting case

    Workers compensation commission
    Section 40

    Interesting points

    35 notice work capacity July 2012
    70 work experience

    • Many thanks @ AT A LOSS. You are a star contributor.

      The case has some typo in summary, esp in the beginning and at the end. It typed 2003 instead 2013.

      If you come across more cases esp S40, please share. Sometimes we miss them.

  4. I could not agree more At A Loss, it is a total and utter disgrace. I remember when Allianz won the government contract from GIO because they said they would cost less money. And I also remember reports in the Media that they had meetings with Greg Pearce, so there is the smoking gun. The corruption involved in this is quite unbelievable, the rumour that their Silk has told them they have no chance of winning then Treasury intervenes to make it go to the High Court so that they can influence it politically if true, is evidence of a conspiracy more typical of dictatorships than a democracy. However it also indicates that they are scared of the decision which means it will be far reaching and not just restricted to a few compensation payouts. This was such a blatant abuse of the law, done to line the pockets of friends without consideration of injured workers at all. Everyone should ask themselves why O Farrell’s government didn’t just revoke the whole Workers Comp system instead of applying atrocious amendments which will constantly be challenged legally because they are so bad. I think he knows that if he had revoked it, then that 27% swing against him in Miranda would more likely be 60% state wide.

    • Excellent points Bunny I totally agree.

      putting rumours aside I do believe that when the high court hears the appeal in Goudappel they again will find in favour for Goudappel and injured workers.
      Every time read the previous decision I cannot see the high court going against Goudappel.
      O’Farrell knows this and he wont have the support of the Killers party as he did before to force new legislation through.
      if O’Farrell wants to save his arse in anyway he needs to repeal the retrospective and work capacity legislation.
      But he wont he is a Arrogant Pig in a suit.

      I cant wait for the election to see him and his Party gone.

  5. Had a quick look at that At A Loss, that is horrible, people are not even using WC, the decline for 2013 is damning. And I love the way they say there was no need to look at the insurance companies. Unbelievable

    • O’Farrell & Pearce sought to punish the injured opposed to the culprits that cause Injury or Death. He has sought to reward insurers and bestow upon them the power to extinguish payments and medicals to those who have been injured.
      If the previous weekends by-election in Miranda is anything to go by then it is good bye O’Farrell come election time. Thank god we will finally see the end of this parasites rein!

    • Hi Bunny in question 21 don’t you find it interesting how the government relies on Allianz. My guess is they are the ones who have lined the pockets of the corrupt politicians who sought to destroy the lives of the thousands of injured and their families.
      Question 20 is disgusting as thousands of injured are not putting a claim in now. their workplace rights have been stripped out from under them. Ultimately they will fall into the commonwealth welfare systems and the insurers have another massive win.
      Question 22 clearly shows injured are not fighting on as their right to legal assistance has been wiped off the face of the earth, it is a well documented fact that the majority of injured are from non English speaking backgrounds and or have limited education, how are they to navigate the confusing legislation, how are any of us able to fund a supreme court challenge? The figure of 729 people who have contacted wiro which most of us know are a useless bureaucratic front invented by Pearce all thanks to his lunatic mate Rev Fred Senile.
      I guarantee that if lawyers were allowed to represent and be paid for their services wiro would be flooded.
      Question 7

      the answer is so insulting