The Commonwealth Comcare scheme licensing arrangements under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (SRC) Act 1988 commenced from 30 June 1992. For many years there was a small number of licensees who were either current or former Commonwealth Authorities.
Australia Post and Telstra are the only two original licensees present at the commencement of licensing who continue to be licensees today.
During the period 2005 to 2009, 17 new organisations, who were either former Commonwealth Authorities or in competition with a Commonwealth Authority, were granted licenses to operate under the Comcare scheme. Moving to the Comcare scheme allowed these national companies to self-insure their workers’ compensation and rehabilitation obligations and manage their work health and safety requirements under legislative provisions applying across all states and territories.
As the number of licensees increased it became apparent that in order to more effectively develop capability and influence the direction of the jurisdiction, licensees would need a more co-ordinated approach. Informal meetings had been occurring to share information and discuss issues, and in 2009 action commenced to formalise a licensee representative structure.
Initially, consideration was given to a third party organisation managing this function however, licensees decided to establish an independent incorporated association run by licensees themselves.
A series of meetings were held to name and establish the association of licensees.
On 9 November 2009 the first formal meeting of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Licensees Association (SRCLA) was conducted and the following initial office bearers were appointed: Dean Stone (NAB) President; Michael Halloran (Australia Post) Vice President, Denise Fishlock (Asciano) Secretary; and Tamar Kiely (CBA) Treasurer.
Since 2009 the SRCLA has been active in representing licensees in the Comcare scheme and influencing the legislative and regulatory direction.
Today the SRCLA is the peak licensee representative body within the Comcare jurisdiction and the employees of member organisations account for more than 50% of the total scheme employees.
The SRCLA is affiliated with the state self-insurance associations and is a member of the National Council of Self-Insurers.