I just came across another press release from earlier this month. It is rather fascinating to see one government authority -TAC (which has been advertising speed kills!) is suing local councils for the part that they have contributed in casualty crashes! There are 300 cases of which the local councils are involved in - the scope and desperation that the Bracks Government are using to prop up the TAC which has been losing money- at a time when the Government is claiming huge reductions in casualty crashes is breathtaking. It also highlights the dishonesty of the Bracks Govt in it's safety campaign and total reliance on the speed/drink driving/fatigue triumvirate to bludgeon motorists with more traffic cameras.
Clearly this press release does highlight there are other causes and that the authorities have to take responsibility for the environment they provide the road users.
Things are just getting loonier by the day down here in Mexico.
So Bracksy- Give yerself a BIG UPPER CUT!!!!!!!!!!
Source of Press Release
Date: Sat Jul 5, 2003 4:03 am
Subject: TAC TAKES ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN CASH GRAB
Wednesday, 2nd July, 2003
TAC TAKES ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN CASH GRAB
Liberal Spokesperson for Local Government - John Vogels
The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) has heightened its grab for cash on behalf of the cash-strapped Bracks Government, stepping up their push to recover compensation from Local Government for accidents that have occurred on Council roads.
After recording two successive multi-million losses and pushing up third
party insurance premiums twice in three years, the TAC has now resorted to seek to rip money out of local governments.
This is a situation of Govt suing Govt suing Govt where the only losers are Victorian taxpayers.
At a recent Local Government Forum, Councils were told that approximately 300 writs had been registered in the Victorian courts for issuing against Councils.
The TAC Law Unit is now focused on recovering costs from public authorities with Local Government as the main target. This has happened in the past, but it was very rare - only a handful of cases a year.
The TAC's methods are very aggressive and they are using FOI in an attempt to gather information prior to issuing a Writ against the relevant council.
By arguing that inadequate signage, loose gravel, pot holes and so on,
were contributing factors in accidents, the TAC are effectively cost-shifting onto local government.
As Local Government is responsible for ratepayers' money, legal costs act as a deterrent in defending a case which could cost tens of thousands of dollars. In most cases, Councils are forced to yield.
Whatever the outcome, ratepayers bear the brunt, either through increased insurance premiums, legal fees and/or the compensation payout.
Many Councils are understandably concerned about this cash grab by the TAC, where ratepayers again will ultimately pay the price.