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17.3.2 Place of residence
'Place of residence' is defined in S4(1) of the SRCA:
'Place of residence', in relation to an employee, means:
a)the place where the employee normally resides
b)a place, other than the place referred to in paragraph (a), where the employee resides temporarily, as a matter of necessity or convenience, for the purposes of his or her employment, or
c)any other place where the employee stays, or intends to stay, overnight, a journey to which from the employee's place of work does not substantially increase the risk of sustaining an injury when compared with the journey from his or her place of work to the place referred to in paragraph (a)
'Place where the employee normally resides' – para (a)
This is a question of fact, to be decided in the light of all available evidence. The Full Federal Court decision in Comcare v O'Dea (1998) which concerned a young recruit who had not yet established his own conventional home, illustrates that each 'particular case depends largely on matters of fact and degree'.
The interest for RCG Delegates arising out of this case was that although Mr O'Dea was in the short-term accommodated on base for the purposes of his initial training, this was a temporary arrangement. He had as yet, no permanent residence and his parents still maintained his former room in the family home. The court decided that, for the purposes of the Act, he had not one but two residences i.e. the temporary one on base with the main residence still at the family home.
'Where the employee resides temporarily' – para (b)
The Full Federal Court in Comcare v O'Dea (1998) held that this is a question of fact, to be decided in the light of all available evidence. The important consideration is that the residence is to last for a limited time, to fulfil a passing need. The court endorsed the remarks by Wilcox J in the case of Hafza v Director-General of Social Security (1985) 60 ALR 674:
...I think that the adjective 'temporary' was used to denote an absence that was, both in intention and in fact limited to the fulfilment of a passing purpose...
...whatever the purpose, it seems to me to be implied in the concept of 'temporary' absence that the absence will be relatively short and that its duration will be either defined in advance or be related to the fulfilment of a specific, passing purpose...