Insurance news from the MAV. 
MAV Insurance Bulletin

Issue 26: December 2015
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In this issue:

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Merry Christmas from MAV Insurance
Important amendments to the Wrongs Act introduced
Submission regarding tree management in Victoria
MAV Insurance Board update
Victoria trials new technology to stop powerline bushfires
Councils must ensure insurance policies cover risks and exposures
Carpark slip case in NSW
Installing defibrillators in council facilities
LMI Help Desk
MAV Insurance Risk Management Award Winners
Events

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Merry Christmas from MAV Insurance

MAV Insurance will close for the Christmas and New Year period on 24 December and will reopen on 4 January 2016. We hope you enjoy the festive break and look forward to working with you in 2016.

Important amendments to the Wrongs Act introduced

The State Government has amended the Wrongs Act as of 19 November to allow injured parties not only greater access to pain and suffering damages by reducing thresholds, but also the ability to claim increased damages in certain cases. The MAV made two submissions to the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission as part of their review of the legislation on behalf of the previous government.

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Submission regarding tree management in Victoria

Thank you to those who provided input into the submission that the MAV was asked to prepare for the coroner around tree management in Victoria.

Based on this feedback the MAV has now provided the coroner with its response.

For further information, contact Kristine Purcell on 9667 5539.

MAV Insurance Board update

The MAV Insurance Board (MAVIB) will be looking for new members to help oversee management of the Liability Mutual Scheme.

Vacancies on the board have arisen due to the retirement of long-serving member and Chair John Warburton last year, as well as former Mornington Peninsula Shire CEO, Michael Kennedy who had also served on the Board for 20 years.

Expressions of interest will soon be sought from Victorian and Tasmanian councils in the hope of retaining the services of two Victorian council CEOs and a Tasmanian council General Manager.

Victoria trials new technology to stop powerline bushfires

The State Government announced a world-first testing of Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiter (REFCL) technology taking place at a test site in Kilmore.

The technology reduces an electrical current within milliseconds of detecting that a powerline has come into contact with the ground or vegetation, suppressing a fault before it can start a fire.

The trial has taken technology used overseas to reduce by 10-times the likelihood of a bushfire starting from a high voltage powerline fault.

Final recommendations on the trial are due to be submitted to the State Government this year.

Councils must ensure insurance policies cover risks and exposures

A case currently underway in New Zealand highlights the need for councils to ensure their insurance policies adequately cover their potential risks and exposures.

The Port of Christchurch’s annual report shows it has filed a statement of claim in the High Court in relation to the company’s insurance policies during the Canterbury Earthquakes.

Local media have reported the Port’s new owners are suing their insurance broker over the handling of its policies; a move it claims resulted in them recovering less than they should have from insurers. It’s believed they are currently seeking more than $100 million in damages, plus interest and costs.

Carpark slip case in NSW

A supermarket chain and a contractor were found to have equally contributed to a person slipping on disabled car parking bay signage painted on the ground of a public carpark.

The work was carried out two-and-a-half years prior to the incident, with the contractor found not to be complying with the relevant Australian Standard as the paint did not have appropriate tactile qualities.

The Judge said the supermarket would not have breached its duty of care if the work had been undertaken a short period before the incident. The judge also accepted it was reasonable for the supermarket to have erected an awning over the disabled parking bays or warning signs that the surface was slippery when wet.

Installing defibrillators in council facilities

Life Saving Victoria’s summer newsletter looks at current debate around defibrillator training requirements, and what this means for staff in aquatic facilities.

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LMI Help Desk

MAV Insurance receives many queries from members, on an endless number of topics.

With summer now upon us the LMI Help Desk thought it timely to take a look at the potential risks associated with the use of council-owned structures such as swimming or jumping platforms.

To view advice on managing these risks visit the members only section of our website.

If you have a query or suggestion for MAV Insurance, please contact:

MAV Insurance Risk Management Award Winners

The winners of this year’s risk management awards are Gary Dore from Cardinia Shire Council, and Claire Jordan from Devonport City Council. The judging panel was very impressed with the calibre of all entrants, and hope they and others will consider entering the awards again next year.

Gary was rewarded for leading efforts to embed an organisational risk management culture within his council while working closely with the scheme and other councils in his region.

Claire received her award for leading a process improvement process relating to s.337 certificates – a common claims driver in Tasmania.

Gary and Claire will attend the Risk Management Society Annual Conference in San Diego in April next year, and will present on the highlights from the conference at the best practice forums in 2016.

Events

2016 Tasmanian Conference 3-4 March

Work is well underway to develop an exciting agenda for the 2016 Tasmanian Conference which will be held at the Grand Chancellor Hobart on 3 - 4 March. We encourage you to save the date and hope to have further details available shortly.

Recent Best Practice Forums

Thank you to everyone who attended the recent Best Practice Forums in Victoria and Tasmania. The forums attracted a great turnout and generated important discussions with members on current and emerging risks for councils.

We would like to thank Claire Jordan from Davenport Council who presented at the Northern Tasmania forums on her work developing a process for councils to better manage the Section 337 and subsequently reduce associated risks.

To view presentations from the forums please visit the members only section of our website.

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