The NSW Government has hiked fees for people seeking compensation for diseases such as asbestosis and silicosis.
In a move quietly ushered in on Friday, Dust Diseases Tribunal applications will cost 3.5 per cent more than they did last year. The change takes effect from July 1.
Unions NSW Secretary Mark Morey said fees should be abolished, not hiked.
“People suffering diseases such as asbestosis and silicosis have enough anxiety and hardship to cope with. The very fact people are charged for seeking access to justice is offensive and unconscionable.
“The NSW Government should not only explain why it is hiking these fees, but in fact why they are charged at all.”
Under a regulation signed by Attorney General, Mark Speakman, the standard fee to file an initiating process will increase to $214, while the fee for a first directions hearing increases to $854. This is an increase from $207 and $827 respectively, and is well above inflation.
“Fees such as these send all the wrong signals to people seeking justice and add unnecessary barriers. We call on Attorney General Speakman to abolish them completely,” Mr Morey said.