RACQ defends citizens’ jury after criticism
AT LEAST six people who sat on a citizens’ jury designed to help shape the future of Queensland’s compulsory third party insurance scheme, say the process was flawed.
The jury of about 40 was funded by the RACQ and run by independent consultants Democracy Co.
Jury members were chosen through random selection and their role was to provide recommendations on how Queensland’s CTP scheme should be improved to better support people injured behind the wheel.
But documents obtained by The Morning Bulletin reveal six panellists were highly critical of the process.
“We all participated in this process in good faith,” the group wrote.
“We have given considerable time to try to get a fair outcome, including listening to experts chosen by RACQI (RACQ Insurance), reading materials provided and our own research.
“We went into this because we thought it would be an open process and a good opportunity to better understand the Queensland CTP scheme.
“We wanted the process to work and we wanted to do our bit to help.
“But that’s not what has happened with the RACQI/Democracy Co CTP citizens’ jury.”
The group was critical of the influence that RACQ and Democracy Co had on the direction and outcome of the citizens’ jury.
“That influence from RACQI and Democracy Co continued throughout the citizens’ jury process,” the group said.
“RACQI was involved the entire time, despite funding it and needing to be at arm’s length.
“At every turn, RACQI have called the shots.”
The group said they believed RACQI was using the same sort of experts and putting up the same solution from a similar citizens’ jury in the ACT.
But the RACQ defended the process, and said this initiative was not being run by RACQ Insurance and was developed by RACQ’s advocacy team so Queenslanders could have their say in shaping Queensland’s motor injury insurance scheme – and this was an independent process.
“While we are aware of this document (from disgruntled jurors), it is confusing considering all six jury members actively participated fully in the process and endorsed the main final jury report,” RACQ spokesperson Renee Smith said.
“We are aware of active efforts by some in the legal fraternity to undermine the legal process but we are determined to maintain the independence of Democracy Co and their citizens’ jury in this very complex area of CTP.
“We have no further comment as we have committed to the jury and we will submit the official report unchanged to the State Government and the regulator.”
Democracy Co spokeswoman Emma Fletcher said the final jury report recommendations received between 85 and 96 per cent support from jurors.
“We were really excited by how all our jurors positively and actively contributed throughout the process,” she said.
“As with all citizen jury processes, those jurors who may not agree with the majority opinion are given the opportunity to break away and write a minority report in the room.
“This option was provided, however was never taken up.
“The emergence of these concerns by a handful of jurors, outside the process is confusing.
“Why did these jurors support the recommendations, continue to participate and not opt to write a minority report when provided with this opportunity in the room?”
All registered drivers must pay for CTP in Queensland at the same time as their registration, with providers RACQ, Suncorp, Allianz and QBE offering insurance options.