Lifetime Support Authority
21 Annual Report

To: The Hon Stephen Wade
Minister for Health and Wellbeing

This annual report will be presented to Parliament to meet the statutory reporting requirements of the Motor Vehicle Accidents (Lifetime Support Scheme) Act 2013 and the requirements of Premier and Cabinet Circular PC013 Annual Reporting.

This report is verified to be accurate for the purposes of annual reporting to the Parliament of South Australia.

Submitted on behalf of the LIFETIME SUPPORT AUTHORITY by:

Juliet Brown OAM, Chair, Lifetime Support Authority Board

Rick Howe, Chief Executive, Lifetime Support Authority

From the Board Chair and Chief Executive

The annual report for the Lifetime Support Authority (LSA) sets out our performance for the financial year ended 30 June 2021. Having been in operation for 7 years (since 1 July 2014), the LSA is now moving into its next phase. The structure now being implemented reflects the requirements of a larger, more mature organisation and is designed to accommodate future growth.

During 2020–21, Rick Howe started with the LSA as Chief Executive. We are confident that the newly formed Executive team will continue to drive person-centred practices that support Lifetime Support Scheme (LSS) participants to rehabilitate and maximise their independence in the community.

Along with the Board, we would like to acknowledge the continued efforts and commitment of our staff during another year of challenging conditions. We have been pleased with how the LSA employees continue to respond to the changing COVID-19 conditions, including differing restrictions and lockdown. With an already mobile workforce, the LSA was able to support its staff to effectively and smoothly transition between working in the office and from home when required. Service delivery for participants has continued and we particularly thank the many service providers who continued to deliver those services, facilitated telehealth options and did their best to support participants throughout this time.

We were particularly pleased that despite COVID-19 restrictions, the first participant forum for 2021 was held on 21 May as a face-to-face meeting and was attended by participants, their families and friends with presentations from industry, the LSA and an LSS participant, Steve Blenkinsop, who shared his rehabilitation journey.

Participant Reference Group meetings were also held in February and June in the LSA office and discussions included consideration of the 2020 Participant Survey results and the upcoming LSS Rules review.

2020–21 results

The Lifetime Support Authority manages the Lifetime Support Scheme (the Scheme) to provide necessary and reasonable treatment, care and support for people very seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents in South Australia, regardless of fault.

With regard to our services to participants in 2020–21:

  • At 30 June 2021, the LSA had 274 active participants receiving treatment, care and support services, of which 75 were interim participants and 199 were lifetime participants.
  • A total of $26.1 million was spent on treatment, care and support services during 2020–21, with a further $65.9 million increase in provisions for future costs due to scheme growth.
  • 61 applications to the LSS were assessed during the year, with 52 new participants accepted.

Key aspects of the LSA’s financial performance in 2020–21 include:

  • Revenue from the LSS Levy was $168.5 million, an increase of $7.8 million compared to the revenue received in 2019–20.
  • The nominal investment return was 23.7%, resulting in a $214.8 million gain.
  • Assets have grown to $1,176 million as at 30 June 2021, as a result of LSS Levy contributions and investment performance.
  • Treatment, care and support liabilities for the Lifetime Support Scheme were valued at $1,197 million at 30 June 2021, an increase of $591.3 million compared to the liability valued at 30 June 2020 (noting the methodology for calculating this has changed).
  • The accounting funding ratio is 98% for the LSS, which is indicative of a close match between assets and liabilities.

During 2020–21, the LSA has adopted the risk-free discount rate for the purpose of calculating and reporting the value of outstanding scheme liabilities. This reporting approach is consistent with similar schemes across Australia. The total increase to scheme liabilities of $590.8 million compared to last year results from the adoption of revised economic assumptions, including risk-free discounting ($524.9 million), as well as new provisions for accidents which occurred during 2020–21 and changes to the expected cost of existing scheme participants ($65.9 million).

The Board and the Executive look forward to continuing to support participants in their journey of rehabilitation and independence.

Juliet Brown OAM, Chair, Lifetime Support Authority Board

Rick Howe, Chief Executive, Lifetime Support Authority

Board Update

The new financial year brings with it changes to the Board as we farewell two inaugural Board members. Juliet Brown, Board Chair, and Joe Ullianich, Audit Committee Chair, will both retire at the end of their current terms of appointment. Having served on the Board since its inception, both have played a valuable role in the formation and growth of the LSA and LSS and the Executive and remaining Board members thank them sincerely for their contributions.

Taking over as Chair will be Melinda OLeary, who has also been a Board member since the inception of the LSA. She and the remaining Board members will be joined by three new appointees – David Russell, Linda Matthews and Kevin Cantley. They bring a collective mix of skills and experience across insurance, finance, health and disability which will ensure the Board can continue its work in effectively guiding the LSA as it continues to grow.

The changes will be effective from early October 2021.

Rick Howe, Chief Executive, Lifetime Support Authority

Overview: about the agency

Our Purpose

Working collaboratively, we manage and fund treatment, care and support services for LSS participants, which enhance the quality of their lives, and are person-centred, financially sustainable, innovative and efficient.

Our Vision

Our ordinary level of service is extraordinary.

Our Values

The LSA values have been based on the South Australian Public Sector values, developed to reflect the person-centred purposes of the LSA, and are focused on supporting the LSA to achieve its strategic outcomes.

These values and associated behaviours have been designed with our staff. The overarching values of the LSA are:

  • Trust and respect
  • Innovation and growth
  • People and passion

Our people are our most valuable and important resource and the greatest enabler of achieving our strategic outcomes. Our People and Culture Strategy is a framework for aligning organisational performance key deliverables to the broader strategic focus.

We recognise strong relationships are a critical component of any scheme providing support to participants for their entire lives. With participants, we seek to continue trusting, honest and empathetic relationships, in a partnership approach. With stakeholders and the community, we build effective relationships through honest, open, consistent, and transparent communication.

We are shaping a flexible and agile culture to seek, test and implement new ways of working to deliver on our vision and purpose and embrace ongoing change. We will learn how other successful organisations respond to change, provide support for participants, partners and staff to realise the benefits of innovation and improvement, and actively review our frameworks, systems and priorities.

We aim to be nimble, responsive and available through technology. We actively identify and leverage advancements in technology to: empower participants and increase their independence and quality of life; improve our service delivery and interaction with stakeholders; support and enable our staff; and simplify and streamline processes.

Our functions, objectives and deliverables

The Lifetime Support Authority (LSA) commenced on 1 July 2014 as a statutory authority, delivering the Lifetime Support Scheme (LSS) (the Scheme) under the Motor Vehicle Accidents (Lifetime Support Scheme) Act 2013 (the Act).

The LSA manages the Scheme to provide necessary and reasonable treatment, care and support for people very seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents in South Australia, regardless of fault.

Serious injuries include brain and spinal cord injuries, amputations, serious burns, and permanent blindness. These injuries can require a lifetime of support to help people rehabilitate and maximise their independence in the community.

Working collaboratively, the LSA manages and funds treatment, care and support services for LSS participants, which enhance the quality of their lives.

The Scheme is managed in accordance with the LSS Rules which outline the eligibility criteria and how treatment, care and support needs are assessed.

On average, the LSS is projected to accept approximately 50 new participants per year. This equates to a person entering the Scheme around every 8 days as a result of sustaining serious injuries in a motor vehicle accident.

The functions of the LSA under section 16 of the Act include:

  • monitoring the operation of the LSS
  • funding of treatment care and support for participants under the LSS
  • support and funding for research, education and programs relevant to the LSS
  • review of the LSS Rules
  • disseminating information about the LSS
  • management of the LSS Fund.

The LSA has identified three strategic outcomes, and related goals to guide our direction in 2020–21:

  1. Person-centred services
  • best practice supports
  • enabling participants
  • develop market capacity
  1. Scheme sustainability
  • sound financial and operational management
  • strong relationships with service providers
  1. People and partnerships
  • driving innovation through research, education and programs
  • people
  • Scheme awareness

The chart below reflects the LSA’s organisational structure as at 30 June 2021.

Lifetime Support Authority Organisational Structure

Lifetime Support Authority Organisational Structure

The LSA is governed by the LSA Board, with three subcommittees – Audit, Applications & Rules, and Finance & Investment.

During 2020–21, the Board members were:

  • Juliet Brown OAM (Chair)
  • Arabella Branson (Chair of the Applications & Rules Committee)
  • Melinda OLeary
  • George Potter
  • Joseph Ullianich (Chair of the Audit Committee)
  • Kenneth Williams (Chair of the Finance & Investment Committee)

The LSA organisational structure is comprised of three directorates: Services, Corporate, and People & Partnerships reporting to a Chief Executive.

Changes to the agency

During 2020–21 there were no changes to the agency’s structure and objectives as a result of machinery of government changes.

The Hon Stephen Wade MLC is the Minister for Health and Wellbeing in South Australia.

The minister oversees health, wellbeing, mental health, ageing well, substance abuse and suicide prevention. The Motor Vehicle Accidents (Lifetime Support Scheme) Act 2013 was committed to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing on 22 March 2018 (The South Australian Government Gazette, No 20, 2018).

As at 30 June 2021, Rick Howe is the Chief Executive, who leads the LSA.

Boris Petrovic is the Director Corporate, responsible for overseeing finance, procurement, governance and risk, and information technology functions.

Mary Lewis is the Director People and Partnerships, responsible for overseeing people and culture, as well as communication and engagement functions and research and care innovation.

Trudy Minett is the Director Services responsible for overseeing the LSA’s core operations that support LSS participants, including service planning, specialist technical services, as well as quality and safety.

The Minister for Health and Wellbeing consults with the Treasurer, in regards to determining the LSS Levy for the different vehicle classes as required under sections 43 and 44 of the Act.

The agency’s performance

Since the Scheme commenced, 328 participants have been accepted into the Scheme as at 30 June 2021. Due to injuries no longer being eligible or death, 54 participants are no longer in the Scheme.

Participant Statistics: Data shown is as at 30 June 2021

The Participant Experience Survey for financial year 2020–21 returned a participant satisfaction rate of 81%.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the LSA has continued to effectively provide services for participants.

The Outbreak Action Group (OAG), established to manage the LSA response to the pandemic, continued to meet, as needed, during 2020–21 to lead the LSA’s COVID response. In accordance with Government direction, LSA staff worked from home for periods during the year. Relevant technology and WHS strategies were in place to support staff in working from home. LSA staff worked remotely, when required, to support LSS participants throughout the year.

The LSA’s contribution to the Government’s objectives during 2020–21 are detailed below.

Key objectives

More jobs

Agency’s contribution: The LSA increased its workforce to 81 FTE (up from 65 FTE reported 30 June 2020). This reflects the staffing requirements necessary, due to the growth and developing maturity of the Scheme (projected to be approxi-mately 50 new participants each year).

Lower costs

Agency’s contribution: LSA’s strategy is to adopt ‘break-even’ annual LSS Levy increases, and prudently manage the Scheme finances in order to deliver a solvent, fully-funded and affordable scheme for South Australian motorists.

Better services

Agency’s contribution: LSA’s strategy is to have a person-centred approach with participants, with a focus on working with them to achieve their recovery and rehabilitation goals.

The LSA funds treatment, care and support services for LSS participants. LSS Levies collected each year are intended to fully fund the estimated lifetime costs for new participants who have accidents in the relevant year and meet the eligibility criteria for acceptance into the Scheme.

LSS Levy collections during 2020–21 were $168.5 million (compared to $160.7 million in 2019–20) which is mainly related to an increase in the number of registered vehicles. The average annual levy paid by motor vehicle owners ($108.50) increased by 1.7% compared to 2019–20. Currently, only a small part of the LSS Levy is required to fund current Scheme costs and LSA’s operating costs, with the balance required to meet the future liabilities associated with current participants. These unspent funds are invested in a diversified high growth investment portfolio until they are required.

The LSA invests with Funds SA, the South Australian Government owned corporation which invests and manages funds of approved authorities. Assets of the LSA have grown to $1,176 million as at 30 June 2021, as a result of LSS Levy contributions being invested, and strong investment returns during 2020–21. The nominal investment return for the LSA investment fund was 23.7%, resulting in a $214.8 million gain for the year ending 30 June 2021. LSA’s investments assets will be used to fund treatment, care and support for all current LSS participants over the next several decades.

The total payments for treatment, care, and support services in 2020–21 amounted to $26.1 million (compared to $21.7 million in 2019–20). The types of treatment, care and support funded are shown in the table below.







Attendant Care and Support




















Medical Treatment Services





Home and Vehicle Mods














In addition to the above expenses, a further $590.8 million has been added to the provisions in relation to future treatment, care and support costs compared to last year. The increase compared to last year is related to the adoption of revisited economic assumptions, including risk-free discounting ($524.9 million), as well as new provisions for accidents which occurred during 2020–21 and changes to the expected cost of existing scheme participants ($65.9 million).

The LSS is growing, and it is expected that approximately 50 new participants will enter the Scheme each year for the next several decades. As such, the increase in total costs compared to last year is expected and is within the amount modelled by the independent actuary.

The LSA sets Key Performance Indicators which are contained in the 2021–22 Strategic Plan on a Page. These are used for the purpose of reporting on LSA’s performance to the Board and the Minister as required by LSA’s Charter.

Agency objectives

Indicators (Target)


Strategic Theme 1: Person-Centred Services

Participant Experience Survey – Satisfaction Rate


81% of participants reported that they were satisfied with the LSA.

Whilst this does not meet the target, 81% remains a positive result for the Scheme. A number of strategies are underway to improve processes and experiences for participants.

Experience Survey Participation


44% of participants participated in the Experience Survey.

The 44% participation rate was sufficient to ensure statistically valid results.

Current MyPlan in place for active participants


The 100% target for a current MyPlan was achieved.

Strategic Theme 2: Scheme Sustainability

Funding Probability of Sufficiency (PoS)


The probability that the investment assets, including future investment returns (assuming the long-term investment return target), will be sufficient to meet all future liability payments as they fall due is 92%.

Investment return since inception


The investment return since inception for the LSS Fund is 8.5%, which is 2.25% above the long term return target of 6.25%. This is largely in part due to significant investment returns realised during 2020–21.

Administration costs as a % of treatment, care and support


Administration costs expressed as a percentage of treatment, care and support costs (including movement in outstanding claims provision) equates to 15.2%, which is 2.6% worse than the target of 12.6%. This is due to favourable underwriting performance during 2020–21 rather than exceeding expense budgets.

Variance to operating expense budget


Operating expenses (excluding treatment, care and support) are favourable compared to budget by $1.6 million as at 30 June 2021.

Strategic Theme 3: People & Partnerships

Research, Education and Programs


The Research, Education and Programs (REP) KPI was not met. The KPI measures the proportion of progress reports that were provided on time by grantees. Performance was 53%, largely due to grantees experiencing COVID related impacts (delays in progressing grants, etc).

Staff Engagement


Average staff engagement (reported via Teamgage) for the 12-month period ending 30 June is 75%.

Performance & Goals Completion


100% of LSA staff completed biannual performance assessments.

Program name



The LSA actively engages universities to provide student placements, with a focus on Allied Health students. During the year, the LSA hosted placements for three students. Student placement numbers were reduced this year due to COVID-19.


The LSA employed one graduate this year.

Performance management and development system


Performance Review

100% of LSA staff completed biannual performance assessments.

Learning and development

LSA staff participate in professional development activities including training, conferences and study assistance. Online learning is facilitated predominantly through the LSA’s learning management system. LSA staff maintain access to DTF development initiatives, both online and face to face workshops. The LSA has also commenced the rollout of a new leadership and management skills program and implemented a professional development program for Service Planners.

Program name


Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

LSA staff are provided with access to an independent and free counselling service through the Employee Assistance Program.

Mental Health First Aid

All employees are eligible to nominate for this training with health and safety representatives and first aid officers given first preference.

Wellbeing for Our People Program (DTF)

LSA staff have access to DTF work health and safety initiatives such as the Wellbeing for Our People program.

Workplace injury claims



% Change
(+ / -)

Total new workplace injury claims








Seriously injured workers*




Significant injuries (where lost time exceeds a working week, expressed as frequency rate per 1000 FTE)




*number of claimants assessed during the reporting period as having a whole person impairment of 30% or more under the Return to Work Act 2014 (Part 2 Division 5)

Work health and safety regulations



% Change
(+ / -)

Number of notifiable incidents (Work Health and Safety Act 2012, Part 3)




Number of provisional improvement, improvement and prohibition notices (Work Health and Safety Act 2012 Sections 90, 191 and 195)




Return to work costs**



% Change
(+ / -)

Total gross workers compensation expenditure ($)




Income support payments – gross ($)




**before third-party recovery

Data for previous years is available at:

Executive employment in the agency

Executive classification

Number of executives

Non-SAES Executives


The number of executives is based on the number as at 30 June 2021.

Data for previous years is available at:

The Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment has a workforce information page that provides further information on the breakdown of executive gender, salary and tenure by agency.

Financial performance

The following is a brief summary of the overall financial position of the agency. Full audited financial statements for 2020–21 are attached to this report.

It is important to note that the significant operating loss reported in 2020–21 is primarily related to the adoption of the risk-free discounting assumptions for the purpose of calculating the Scheme’s liabilities, which has resulted in the recognition of a $524.9 million expense in 2020–21.

Statement of Comprehensive Income

202021 Budget

202021 Actual


201920 Actual











Net result





Total Comprehensive Result



Statement of Financial Position

202021 Actual

201920 Actual

Current assets



Non-current assets



Total assets



Current liabilities



Non-current liabilities



Total liabilities



Net assets






The following is a summary of external consultants that have been engaged by the agency, the nature of work undertaken, and the actual payments made for the work undertaken during the financial year.

Consultancies with a contract value below $10,000 each



$ Actual payment

All consultancies below $10,000 each – combined



Consultancies with a contract value above $10,000 each



$ Actual payment

The Catapult Effect

Participant workbook & Service Delivery Project


Remcast Pty Ltd T/AS

Adept Technology

Salesforce Project


Kindling Solutions Pty Ltd

LSS Rules Review


Le Faire Consulting

Adaptive Insight Consulting


Synergy IQ Pty Ltd

Training & development review


Accru Harris Orchard

Accounts Payable process review



Internal audit services


Finity Consulting Pty Ltd

Actuarial services


MAGOO Actuarial Consulting

Actuarial Peer Review Services


Willis Re

Reinsurance broker services




$ 1,097,478

Data for previous years is available at:

See also the Consolidated Financial Report of the Department of Treasury and Finance for total value of consultancy contracts across the South Australian Public Sector.

The following is a summary of external contractors that have been engaged by the agency, the nature of work undertaken, and the actual payments made for work undertaken during the financial year.

Contractors with a contract value below $10,000



$ Actual payment

All contractors below $10,000 each – combined



Contractors with a contract value above $10,000 each



$ Actual payment

Hays Specialist Recruitment

Temporary Staff Recruitment


Randstad P/L

Temporary Staff Recruitment


Premier & Cabinet Dept

Website Setup and Hosting Fee


Talent International

Temporary Staff Recruitment





Data for previous years is available at:

The details of South Australian Government-awarded contracts for goods, services, and works are displayed on the SA Tenders and Contracts website. View the agency list of contracts.

The website also provides details of across government contracts.

Not applicable

Risk management

The LSA, as an independent statutory authority, has appropriate internal control and risk management frameworks in place. The LSA’s Audit Committee is a sub-committee of the Board and meets four times a year to provide assistance to the Board on the operation and effectiveness of the LSA’s accounting, control, risk management, internal and external auditing. The LSA has internal compliance, review and process assessments, monitored by the LSA Board and/or Board Committees where appropriate. The LSA management of its internal control framework is incorporated into the LSA Governance Framework.

Category/nature of fraud

Number of instances

Suspected fraudulent activity


Suspected staff misconduct and maladministration


NB: Fraud reported includes actual and reasonably suspected incidents of fraud.

The LSA has a Fraud and Corruption Control Framework, Fraud and Corruption Policy, Fraud and Corruption Reporting Procedure, and maintains a Fraud Incident Register. The policy incorporates the South Australian Public Sector Fraud and Corruption Policy, the Code of Ethics for the South Australian Public Sector, Independent Commissioner against Corruption Directions and Guidelines, Public Interest Disclosure Act, Treasurer’s Instructions, Public Sector (Honesty and Accountability) Act 1995, and the LSA Code of Conduct and Participant Service Charter.

The LSA Chief Executive reviews Executive Declarations on a quarterly basis, confirming that risk controls, including fraud controls, have been in place in their respective areas. Allegations of fraud, misconduct and maladministration are reported as soon as practical to the Audit Committee and Board Chairs. Quarterly updates are provided to the Audit Committee and each year the LSA provides an annual updated summary of all matters and their status.

All matters have been investigated and closed during the 2020–21 period. These matters have been found to have no financial impact.

Data for previous years is available at:

Number of occasions on which public interest information has been disclosed to a responsible officer of the agency under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2018:


Data for previous years is available at:

Note: Disclosure of public interest information was previously reported under the Whistleblowers Protection Act 1993 and repealed by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2018 on 1/7/2019.

Reporting required under any other act or regulation

Act or Regulation


Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

Public complaints

Complaint categories



Number of Complaints

Professional behaviour

Staff attitude

Failure to demonstrate values such as empathy, respect, fairness, courtesy, extra mile; cultural competency


Professional behaviour

Staff competency

Failure to action service request; poorly informed decisions; incorrect or incomplete service provided


Professional behaviour

Staff knowledge

Lack of service specific knowledge; incomplete or out-of-date knowledge


Communication quality

Inadequate, delayed or absent communication with customer




Customer’s confidentiality or privacy not respected; information shared incorrectly

Service delivery


System offline; inaccessible to customer; incorrect result/information provided; poor system design

Service delivery

Access to services

Service difficult to find; location poor; facilities/ environment poor standard; not accessible to customers with disabilities

Service delivery


Processing error; incorrect process used; delay in processing application; process not customer responsive



Policy application

Incorrect policy interpretation; incorrect policy applied; conflicting policy advice given


Policy content

Policy content difficult to understand; policy unreasonable or disadvantages customer

Service quality


Incorrect, incomplete, out dated or inadequate information; not fit for purpose

Service quality

Access to information

Information difficult to understand, hard to find or difficult to use; not plain English

Service quality


Lack of staff punctuality; excessive waiting times (outside of service standard); timelines not met


Service quality


Maintenance; personal or family safety; duty of care not shown; poor security service/ premises; poor cleanliness

Service quality

Service responsiveness

Service design doesn’t meet customer needs; poor service fit with customer expectations


No case to answer

No case to answer

Third party; customer misunderstanding; redirected to another agency; insufficient information to investigate





Additional Metrics


Number of positive feedback comments


Number of negative feedback comments


Total number of feedback comments


Data for previous years is available at:

In 2020–21, the LSA strengthened its approach to service quality and safety by expanding its Quality and Safety team and implementing a Quality Assurance Program. This was in addition to the continuation of its existing complaints handling process.

The LSA also undertook a review of its complaints handling framework (called the Feedback and Incident Review – FAIR Framework) and is in the process of implementing improvements to streamline the process.

Other service improvements implemented in 2020–21 include:

  • Review and implementation of a revised Service   Delivery Model for the support of LSS participants.
  • Establishment of dedicated specialist services to support   Service Planners in their work with LSS participants.
  • Development and implementation of a Participant   Workbook to support LSS participants in the annual MyPlan process.
  • Review and implementation of a revised risk-based   participant assessment process to support Service Planners in identifying   factors relevant to effective person-centred care.

The LSA reports on the performance of its complaints management system to the Application and Rules Committee at each meeting.

The LSA is compliant with Premier and Cabinet Circular 039 – complaint management in the South Australian public sector


The LSA has communicated the content of PC 039 and the agency’s related complaints policies and procedures to employees.


Appendix: Audited financial statements 2020–21