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17-01-2022 Cairns

Date 17 January 2022

S 533/535 – Fraud
S 136 (x 2) – Failing to notify of engagement in a calling
S 534 (x 3) – False or misleading information

Court Cairns Magistrates Court



Failing to disclose work in two other jobs to the insurer while in receipt of compensation and making associated false or misleading statements about working.


On 26 January 2020, the defendant (a worker) experienced an exacerbation of their pre-existing psychological injury after witnessing a crime in the workplace.

On 14 February 2020, the defendant lodged an application for workers’ compensation and signed a declaration agreeing to advise the self-insurer if they undertook any other employment during their claim. They told an employee of the self-insurer that they had no other employment outside of the organisation on 2 March 2020.

The self-insurer accepted the defendant’s claim on 27 March 2020. On 13 April 2020, the defendant signed a second application for compensation because the previous application had been on the incorrect form. They indicated on the second application that they had no other employment and agreed to notify the self-insurer if that changed.

In fact, the defendant had been employed by another organisation since March 2019. They took approximately one month away from that job after the work-related incident but returned in February 2020 and continued until October 2020. The defendant was also employed by a third organisation from 20 January 2020 and started work there in the week commencing 23 March 2020, continuing into 2021 after their claim was closed.

The defendant failed to notify the insurer of their two other jobs within 10 business days (being 14 April 2020) as required.

Around 16 April 2020, the self-insurer received information that the defendant was working at the third organisation. An employee of the self-insurer phoned the defendant on 20 April 2020 and asked whether the defendant had recently obtained employment elsewhere. The defendant said no. When the self-insurer asked directly whether they had recently started working at that particular job, the defendant then said that they had started working there three weeks ago as a casual, had only done five shifts, and had not been back since the first week because of COVID-19 symptoms. None of this was true.

The defendant did not disclose their second job at this point or until about 24 September 2020, about five months after the discussion about the third job.

The defendant appealed against their convictions to the District Court unsuccessfully. They also unsuccessfully sought leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal.


The worker was sentenced to a six months imprisonment, wholly suspended for 12 months, on the fraud charge. She was sentenced to three months imprisonment, wholly suspended for 12 months, in relation to the remaining four charges.

The District Court resentenced her in relation to the two s 136 engagement in a calling offences, as they were erroneous at law, and ordered that she was to be convicted but not further punished.


$5,191.30 - Workers' Compensation Regulators Costs
Scale costs – Court of Appeal hearing

Common Law rights extinguished? Yes
Conviction Yes
Consideration for Prevention

A worker must be honest about their capacity for, and engagement in, any type of work whether paid or unpaid.