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Legal History | What Happens If You're a Victim | Australian Structured Settlements

Australian Structured Settlements

Judie Stephens and interested parties made a proposal to the Australian Government for Structured Settlements.

CLICK HERE for the proposal.

CLICK HERE for Potential Savings to the Australian Government from Structured Settlements
JR Cumpston MEngSc MAdmin FIA FIAA

CLICK HERE for Judie's Story 14 February, 2001.

Judie's mission and vision is to ensure that all injured and compensated people in Australia have the opportunity and choice of Structured Settlements. Her time frame for this legislation is the National Budget in the Year 2000. She is available to speak to interested groups and write articles.



Imagine! I was your infant son, orphaned and brain injured because of a tragic car accident.

Kindly read the Structured Settlements Proposal, a tax reform to benefit accident victims and all taxpaying Australians. Look especially at Sarah's tragic story on page six………

A structured settlement for her care would save our government over thirty-eight million dollars during her lifetime.

This proposal is made by Australian Plaintiff Lawyers Association, Law Council of Australia, Injuries Australia, Insurance Council of Australia Limited and United Medical Protection and my grandmother, (now my Mum) Judie Stephens.

In June, our Prime Minister and Federal Parliament have discussed these issues with Danna Vale MP Member for Hughes. We also met with the media at Parliament House, Canberra on Friday 25 June 1999.

I want, and others like me, the choice of Structured Settlements and lifetime financial security.

Please write to our Prime Minister, The Rt. Hon. John Howard MP, Prime Minister, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600, Australia expressing your support of Structured Settlements. Please send a copy of your letter by e-mail to Jackson and Danna Vale MP, Federal Member for Hughes.

I send my love and best wishes to you and those you love,


(Written for me by Judie Stephens)

PS Please share this proposal with others to ensure that there are many approaches to our Prime Minister

Judie meets with John LawesJudie's lobby is now to focus on Structured Settlements, where payments are made to an injured person who receives compensation because of a motor vehicle accident, medical negligence or worker's compensation. A Structured Settlement provides tax free interest for claimants who are catastrophically injured and choose to have periodic payments to provide for attendant care, medical, rehabilitation and living expenses for the term of their life. This is in conjunction with a lump sum and decided at the time of settlement. Structured Settlements is a tax initiative that is now used in the USA, Canada, and the UK very successfully and is most relevant to catastrophically injured people.

Judie had the opportunity of researching Structured Settlements internationally and then consulted with Jane Ferguson who is a Sydney lawyer dedicated to ensuring Structured Settlements are available by choice to all injured Australians who receive compensation.

On Friday 25 June 1999, Judie Stephens and supporters of Structured Settlements went to Canberra. In Canberra Mrs Danna Vale, Member of Parliament and Federal Member for Hughes, arranged a meeting with senior advisors of our National Treasury.

Click here to read an extract of the presentation Mrs Vale made to Parliament on 23 June:

On Friday 25 June 1999, the Hon. Danna Vale MP, Federal Member for Hughes, launched this proposal to the media at Parliament House, Canberra.

Danna Vale has spoken to our Prime Minister and in the Federal Parliament (House of Representatives) promoting the economic and social sense of Structured Settlements. See House Hansard "Tax Reform: Structured Settlements", 23 June 1999, p.7252.

Kelvin Thomson, Shadow Assistant Tresurer has met with Jackson and I and he also embraces the concept of Structured Settlements. This is bipartisan; there has been no opposition from any political party, nor any politician.

Click here to read Mr Kelvin Thomson's Greivance Debate, House of Representatives, "Personal Injury Compensation" 26 June 2000, p. 16824.

Senator Alan Ferguson has also spoken in the Federal Parliament (Senate) promoting Structured Settlements. See Senate Hansard "Compensation: Structured Settlements", 25 August 1999, p.7486.

The group's Law Reform Proposal was discussed. Over the last few months there have been a number of media releases in Australia endorsing the great value of allowing victims the choice of Structured Settlements:

  • 12 March 1999: ABC Radio National
  • 20 April 1999: John Laws, Foxtel TV
  • 22 June 1999: The Age newspaper, Melbourne, p.7
  • 24 June 1999: The 7.30 Report, ABC TV
  • 21 June 1999: The Australian Financial Review newspaper
  • 26 June 1999: The Canberra Times newspaper, p.3
  • 26 June 1999: The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, p.13
  • 26 June 1999: 2UE Radio 11.30am
  • 26 June 1999: News at Five, Channel 10 National TV
  • 15 July 1999: St George & Sutherland Shire Leader newspaper, p.8
  • 6 September 1999: ABC Radio South Australia, 4.12pm
  • October 1999: NSW Motor Accident Authority newsletter, "Informaation 32"
  • 5 November 1999: 5DN Radio South Australia, 3.51pm
  • December 1999: Insurance Council of Australia newsletter "Briefings", p.7
  • December 1999: Australian Plaintiff Lawyers Association journal, "Plaintiff", p.28
  • 12 May 2000 Australian Financial Review, "Fury over tax on staggered compo", Katherine Towers, p.31
  • 13 May 2000 The Age "Government refuses tax law changes" Darrin Farrant, p.19
  • 19 May 2000 Australian Financial Review, "Feds may save on care with a costs restructure" Katherine Towers, p.29
  • May-June 2000 Informaation 34, Motor Accident Authority, "Structured Settlements face uncertainty", p.7
  • June 2000 Paraquad News, "Structured Settlements", p.8
  • June 2000 The Age, "Geelong reels as another pillar of the community crumbles" by Andrew Clar
  • Issue 1, 2000 United News, "Federal Government rejects Structured Settlements - but campaign not over"
  • 17 July 2000 Australian Medicine, "Medical Indemnity - where to now?" Dr Michael Sedgley
  • 5 August 2000 Sydney Morning Herald, "Blake's progress" Ben Hills
  • 11 August 2000 Australian Financial Review, "Accident victims tax plea" Katherine Towers
  • 30 August 2000 Sydney Morning Herald, "Crippled in jail, now hamstrung by the bureaucracy" re his compensation and the Office of the Protective Commissioner
  • 7 September 2000 Canberra Times, "Structured Settlements" letter to the editor
  • Spring 2000 The Australian Quadriplegic Association Journal, p.16
  • September 2000 United Medical Protection Journal
  • December 2000 Australian Medical Association Journal, P.6
  • 10 January 2001 The Australian Newspaper, p.4
  • 14 February 2001 The Sydney Institute Paper,
  • 28 February 2001 Liberal Party of Australia, NSW Women's Council, Sydney

Media and Hansard Reporting:

- Canberra Times - Saturday, 26th June, 1999.
- The Sydney Morning Herald - Saturday, 26th June, 1999.
- St. George and Sutherland Shire Leader Newspaper - 15 July 1999.

- Senator The Hon. Rod Kemp, Assistant Treasurer announces Structured Settlements available for personal injury compensation - Wednesday, 26 Sept 2001.

For further information on Structured Settlements:
National Structured Settlements Trade Association

My visit to Canada USA and United Kingdom searching for information and a greater understanding of Structured Settlements

In April/May 2001, I had the opportunity of travelling to Toronto, Canada and London, England. I would like to thank those in Canada, Bob Baxter, David Sampson, Frank McKellar and John Rousseau for their great work and understanding of the process that Canadians have experienced. First of all, implementing Structured Settlements before the tax changes and how they have worked with their Government in creating the opportunity for Canadians to receive pensions for life.

Then on to London, the British people have a similar system of Law and Government that they gave us in our colonial days. We are still linked to the Westminster system. Professor Iain Goldrein has written books about Structured Settlements. He wrote Structured Settlements, A Practical Guide, published by Butterworths in 1997. He is a great advocate ensuring that justice is achieved, and Plaintiffs rights and settlements are not eroded. Then, I met with Lord Phillips, Master of the Rolls, thanks to his Private Secretary, Bob Musgrove for this opportunity to meet.

Lord Nicholas Phillips, Master of the Rolls

Lord Phillips

Lord Phillips really wants to look at Structured Settlements becoming better tailored to suit victims in the UK. In fact, he said that he wonders why Structured Settlements shouldn't become a part of most settlements and also a Plaintiff should be asked, why they choose not to accept a Structured Settlement. Indeed, Structured Settlements are not for everybody but it is certainly a great tool to ensure that money directed for the catastrophically injured goes to their care, medical and rehabilitation.

Peter Costello, Federal Treasurer meets with Judie at the Sydney institute, 25 July, 2001. Mr Costello said that Structured Settlements would become a reality soon.

Latest News

Structured Settlements now available in Australia.

On Wednesday 26 September 2001, the assistant Treasurer, Senator Rod Kemp announced that the Government will introduce legislative amendments designed to encourage the use of Structured Settlements for personal injury compensation.

Prime Minister of Australia, the Honorable John Howard is introduced to Jackson and Judie by their friend Danna Vale MP. Prime Minister thanked Judie for her work in promoting Structured Settlements.

Sunday 7 October, 2001.

This amendment will assist compensible injured people who are reliant on their compensation for the rest of their lives. Consistent with this aim, tax free indexed pension will be available by choice to provide funds for care, rehabilitation and medical needs for the plaintiff's life.

This is bipartisan and will assist the most injured and vulnerable in our society. Thankyou to our treasurers, Prime Minister, Danna Vale MP, and all those who listened.

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