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Government top up to Asbestos Injuries Compensation Fund welcomed

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Media Release

Published on

National Law firm Slater and Gordon has welcomed today’s announcement by Prime Minister Julia Gillard that the Federal Government will loan the NSW Government $160 million to top up the Asbestos Injuries Compensation Fund (AICF).

Ms Joanne Wade, senior asbestos lawyer with Slater and Gordon, said the announcement was good news for the sufferers of asbestos related diseases.

“This funding will ensure asbestos victims and their families continue to receive compensation payments as James Hardie’s financial position improves following the GFC,” Ms Wade said.

“Without this loan agreement it seemed likely asbestos compensation claims would have been paid in instalments, with some victims not living long enough to receive their full compensation.

“This additional funding, which will be matched by the NSW Government, will ensure asbestos victims and their families receive the compensation they need to help them through a very difficult emotional and financial time.

“Both the NSW and Federal Governments should be congratulated for finding a workable solution to the problem that doesn’t let James Hardie off the hook but provides enormous comfort for mesothelioma and other asbestos disease sufferers.”

Slater and Gordon represented asbestos victims and unions in negotiating the 2004 James Hardi.

Agreement which saw the establishment of the AICF.

Slater and Gordon also conducted the first successful common law asbestos litigation case in 1984 and has acted for thousands of people exposed to and diagnosed with an asbestos related disease.