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The Andrews Government has today changed the future for Drysdale man Rory Wilson whose life took a devastating turn when he rode into a stationary truck in Portarlington, causing him to sustain serious injuries, including paraplegia.

The Government today introduced the Treasury and Finance Legislation Amendment Bill 2018, which if passed will deliver a number of benefits for Victorians through the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) scheme, including an amendment to extend TAC coverage for collisions between a cyclist and a parked or stationary vehicle.

This will be retrospective to all accidents on or after July 9, 2014 – the day of Mr Wilson’s accident.

Slater and Gordon has advocated for the former farmer for almost four years, to help him secure the support he and his family desperately needs, pursuing his case through the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) and the Supreme Court of Victoria.

The law firm has spent months working to change the law, which has until now meant people like Mr Wilson slipped through the cracks.

Senior Slater and Gordon Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer, Joanne Panagakis, congratulated the Andrews Government for recognising the gap in the legislation and making the appropriate changes. Ms Panagakis said it had been a long battle for Mr Wilson and his family but was thrilled this effort would change the future for others.

“We have always pushed for Rory’s case to be included into the TAC scheme” Ms Panagakis said. “We believe it is fitting that Rory and those who find themselves in similar circumstances are eligible to receive the same entitlements that other road users do.

“We especially want to thank the TAC and the Andrews Government, who were prepared to listen and understand the need for change.”

Mr Wilson said he was thrilled with the news and thanked everyone who had advocated for these changes in legislation. He said this was a wonderful decision for all cyclists who deserved the same rights as any other road user.

“I’d like to thank everyone in our community who has supported our family and the development of this legislation over the past four years,” Mr Wilson said. “There have been so many people who have been part of this process, including Slater and Gordon and the TAC. Without their support we wouldn’t have been able to get this done.

“While my life will never be the same as it was before the accident, my family and I are simply overjoyed with this news that will help us and others moving forward.”

The proposed legislation also includes additional TAC benefits for injured road users as follows:

  • Expanded definition of immediate family member to include grandparents – this will allow grandparents access to a number of services such as family counseling and/or travel and accommodation expenses for family members who suffer severe injuries or die.
  • Increased monetary cap from $10,000 to $20,000 for immediate family members’ travel and accommodation expenses to visit a family member in hospital.
  • A new benefit to provide income assistance to parents and guardians who suffer a loss of income as a result of visiting a dependent child in hospital.
  • An additional four weeks of overseas attendant care services if a severely injured person is required to travel because of work.
  • Extension of dependency benefits to full-time dependent apprentices – previously only full-time students up to the age of 25 years old were included.
  • Payment of administrator fees associated with VCAT/Court appointed financial administration of a person’s no fault benefits.
  • Removal of the five-year mandatory TAC review of people who have a 50 per cent impairment in terms of their ongoing entitlement to income benefits.

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