Former Adelaide broadcaster Scott McBain denied employees’ compensation for again damage

One of South Australia’s best-known spokesmen has lost an offer for employee compensation after his employer filmed him for hours driving and carrying heavy objects.

Important points:

  • Scott McBain was a television and radio station from Adelaide
  • He was injured while working as a truck driver and asked for compensation
  • His claim was denied

Scott McBain made program announcements and presentations for Channel 9 from 1983 to 2005 and also worked on Adelaide radio until 2006.

The Employment Tribunal in South Australia heard that he started working as a truck driver for Integrated Waste Services (IWS) in 2015 and injured his right arm and lower back in January 2016 when he pulled the curtain on one side of a truck at the Dublin landfill wound up.

Two months later, he returned to work nine hours a week, but claimed his pain persisted even with lighter tasks.

He claimed he noticed how bad the pain was when driving from Adelaide to a friend’s house in the Flinders Ranges – about five hours away – in March 2016.

In June 2016, the occupational physician Dr. Kar Loong Ng that Mr. McBain could finally go back to his previous duties.

At the same time, Mr. McBain stopped receiving weekly payments.

Workers filmed lifting and driving

In June 2018, IWS and Return to Work SA denied compensation to Mr McBain, saying he did not suffer any sustained spine injury from the fall.

IWS had hired an investigator unknown to film Mr. McBain on another trip to Parachilna in the Flinders Ranges during the Easter period of 2018.

They filmed him with an esky and beer, filled a canister, inflated car tires and stood at a bar in a pub.

Mr. McBain went back to work driving a truck for IWS. (

ABC Capricornia: Paul Robinson


In evidence for the South Australian Employment Tribunal, Mr McBain said his walk was “stilted” in the footage, but Judge Margaret Kelly said she “could not see such an action”.

Dr. Ng told the court the video contradicts Mr. McBain’s allegation of persistent back pain.

“The video surveillance shows that Mr. McBain was able to drive his Toyota LandCruiser for a long time without any problems,” wrote Dr. Ng in his report.

“He was also seen lifting three 1.25 liter bottles of soft drink with his affected hand and holding a carton of XXXX beer with both hands.

“He was also observed to be carrying a shopping basket of groceries with his right hand.

“He used his right arm freely and unhindered.”

Judge Kelly found evidence “inconsistent”

In her findings, Judge Kelly said that evidence from Mr. McBain that he was in constant pain on both the drive to and from the Flinders Ranges, that “his legs would buckle when standing up,” did not match the video, in which he delivered meat to his daughter’s home and a friend’s home.

“I see nothing urgent about deliveries of sausages that, in the face of this pain, could not wait another day or be abandoned altogether,” said Judge Kelly.

“Not only that, Mr. McBain unloaded his vehicle on his return to his apartment and a short time later drove from his Kensington apartment to his girlfriend’s apartment in Hawthorn.”

She said if there was back pain at the time of the trip, it was “insignificant” and possibly present before the fall.

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