Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3330..
Workers Compensation Amendment Bill 2001
Debate resumed from 9 August 2001.
Clause 1 agreed to.
MR BERRY (10.48): Mr Speaker, I move amendment No 1 standing in my name [see schedule 3, yellow sheet, at page 3540].
I will commence my comments by looking at the way that people in this place have approached the discussions and negotiations in respect of workers compensation in the ACT. Firstly, the government came forward with a bill to amend the Workers Compensation Act, and some promised regulations-
MR SPEAKER: Excuse me, Mr Berry, we have had the in-principle debate. We are now addressing an amendment that you have moved to clause 2 of the bill.
MR BERRY: That is right. Mr Speaker, all of this is important background to this issue.
MR SPEAKER: Well, I think I will be the judge of that. But I can assure you that, if you make an in-principle speech, I shall rule you out of order. We have had the debate on the in-principle stage.
MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, I am not making an in-principle speech.
MR SPEAKER: Thank you.
MR BERRY: Perhaps you will give me credit for proceeding in this way. Many issues were raised in the course of those discussions, not the least this one.
Mr Speaker, members of the Assembly need to understand that, as a result of consultation with the affected parties in the community, 70-odd pages of amendments were circulated from my office. People out in the community were deeply concerned that the promised regulations might never eventuate and, as a result, we have an amendment to include the majority of them in the legislation. After all, we do have the Hare-Clark system and it is a little hard to guess who might have the tiller in their hand after the next election.
Mr Speaker, I am now up to version 9 of my amendments, which I have prepared and distributed to the government and Assembly members. Last evening a meeting was scheduled with the government to deal with the amendments in general. Government officers attended my office to talk sensibly about the position. During the course of that meeting somebody dropped another 100 and something pages of amendments into my office. I do not mind dealing with people in good faith, but I think this was just a wee bit mean and tricky.