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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2024..


MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

which is sitting in the fund is not sufficient to cover the claims which are now being made against it, and supplementation is required.

It is the government's hope, and on my advice, even the expectation that the payment of this money into the fund at this stage will give the fund sufficient capacity to meet claims for the foreseeable future and even have, with other provisions taken into account, the capacity-admittedly, some fair distance in the future-to repay the $30 million back to the ACT. That might not occur for 15 or 20 years, and it also relies on a levy on employers of 3 per cent, beginning in the 2002-03 financial year. With those provisions, I am advised that there is a reasonable prospect of the money being repaid to the ACT over a period of time.

Even if it were not the case that money will be repaid, I believe that it is appropriate for us to step in and assist people in these circumstances. The federal government has already announced a package to assist claimants in certain categories where they are denied access to an insurer. State governments have taken similar steps. The significant areas where the ACT insured parties might be out in the cold are of workers compensation and home owners warranty. Both these matters have been taken care of with this legislation today.

There may be other claims which, because of HIH's collapse, are not being met. Those claims are likely to be on insurance policies for loss of home contents because of burglary or something of that kind. I understand that they are likely to be relatively small claims in the scheme of things and that the most serious losses in the community are being addressed with these measures-that is, both the federal government's and now this Assembly's measures with respect to rescue packages.

Mr Quinlan asked me about unblocking access to medical expenses, and so on, that are being claimed against HIH or its successors. I hope that the effect of the passage of legislation today will be that people in these positions are now able to obtain the access that they have not been able to obtain before. I thank members for their support of the legislation.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Duties Amendment Bill 2001

Debate resumed from 13 June 2001, on motion by Mr Humphries:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR QUINLAN (12.16): Again, the opposition will be supporting this bill. In the main, it is a piece of machinery to protect our revenue collections in light of changes made at Commonwealth level. Some changes are necessary in order than we can continue to


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