Time for Premier to walk the talk on Warrick’s plight
Premier Mark McGowan, when he was Opposition leader, campaigned strongly on behalf of Warrick Proudlove to receive financial support after a 2011 car crash left him paralysed.
Now it is time for the Premier to put his money where his mouth is.
The promising young Claremont footballer sustained catastrophic injuries when the car being driven by a friend hit a horse on the road to Albany.
Under the insurance rules of the time, Proudlove was not entitled to a pay-out because the driver was not at fault. A District Court trial upheld that rule.
That lack of insurance cover was taken up by McGowan whose support for a no-fault third-party scheme helped the State Government introduce one in 2016.
And it is no small step to consider that McGowan’s articulate and powerful advocacy at the time contributed to his election victory less than a year later.
“We should call this Warrick’s law, in honour of Warrick and what’s happened,” McGowan said at the time.
“And in my view, it should be made retrospective and give him the opportunity to be compensated.
“If a drunk driver caused these injuries to Warrick, he would have been awarded a big payout providing security for Warrick for the rest of his life.”
But the new no-fault insurance was not made retrospective.
And the Proudlove family, who were devastated by Warrick’s accident, have been through a decade of financial hardship that has left them virtually penniless.
The Proudies Foundation was established 10 years ago to help fund Warrick’s considerable medical bills but he and his family Warrick have no security.
It is time to change that.
McGowan last week announced that WA had recorded a $5.7 billion surplus.
The State has rarely been wealthier with soaring iron ore and commodities prices adding billions of dollars to WA’s coffers.
It is not too much to think that McGowan could allocate a minute portion of that massive treasure chest to help the Proudloves.
McGowan once spoke grandly about Warrick’s law being a noble cause. Now it is time for him to live up to his words and walk the talk.
IMAGE: The West Australian.