5.10 In considering the public interest, the main criteria for consideration will be similar to that adopted by the ODPP Guidelines and will include:
a) the seriousness or triviality of the offence and/or whether the breach is of a technical nature only; WorkCover tends to prosecute when a death has occurred, when there has been a serious injury or illness, or when there has been a risk of fatal or serious injury or illness;
b) any mitigating or aggravating circumstances;
c) the length of time since the alleged offence;
d) the degree of culpability of the alleged offender in relation to the offence;
e) whether the prosecution would be perceived as counterproductive, for example, by bringing the law into disrepute;
f) the prevalence of the alleged offence and the need for deterrence both specific and general;
g) any prior breaches of or convictions under the WHS or workers compensation insurance laws;
h) whether the alleged offence is of considerable public concern;
i) any precedent which may be set by not instituting proceedings;
j) the age, physical or mental health or special infirmity of the alleged offenders or witnesses;
k) the length and expense of a Court hearing;
l) whether proceedings are to be instituted against others arising out of the same incident; m) community expectations that proceedings will be instituted;
n) the availability and efficacy of any alternatives to prosecution. 17
5.11 The applicability of and weight to be given to these and other factors will vary and depend on the particular circumstances of each case.
5.12 The resources available to WorkCover to conduct prosecutions are finite. They will therefore not be expended in pursuing inappropriate cases.