Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3331..
MR BERRY (continuing):
I know that the government has embraced a whole heap of the ideas which were incorporated in my amendments. This brings back the memory of the debate which occurred in relation to the independence of the Occupational Health and Safety Commissioner. This is just another example of how the government has tried but failed to pinch our agenda.
Mr Speaker, the government has kept all of its cards up its sleeve on this very complex piece of legislation, and there needs to be a bit of discussion to facilitate its passage through this place. Well, if that is the game they want to play, that is fair enough; we will cope.
Mr Speaker, last evening I said that I would work through the government's amendments. I told the government that I would have some difficulty getting matters sorted by this morning, bearing in mind that the amendments arrived at my office at around about 6 o'clock. The detail of the amendments have to be resolved with the secretariat support staff and, of course, the people in Parliamentary Counsel's office. Mr Speaker, as a result of those discussions, I have further amendments to circulate, and that will happen in due course.
At this point, Mr Speaker, there are some 70 to 73 pages of amendments. I do not know whether the government has circulated their amendments yet-I rather hope that they will so that everybody gets the opportunity to see them. But my amendments have been circulated at least eight times, and the ninth version is coming.
Mr Speaker, clause 2 goes to the commencement issue. The government has slipped up badly with this fundamental part of this legislation. It has come up with a whole new range of provisions that apply to injured workers, insurance companies, and so on. But nowhere has the government come before this place and told us what this will cost. In other words, the government does not have a clue what this will cost. No work, as far as I can make out, has been done in relation to the costs of the scheme which the government has put forward.
One of the concerns of constituents is that certain elements may turn out to be unaffordable. But we will never know what the cost will be unless we have an independent actuarial assessment of the provisions of this legislation. A proper report needs to be made to this Assembly to make sure that certain matters are considered by the Assembly.
Mr Speaker, it is important to deal with new section 80A in the context of our consideration of clause 2. My amendment to clause 2 is as follows:
Omit the clause, substitute the following clause:
(1) This Act (other than new section 8OA, as inserted by section 7A, and schedule 2) commences on 1 July 2002.
Note The naming and commencement provisions automatically commence on the notification day (see Legislation Act 2001, s 75).
(2) The following provisions commence on the day this Act is notified in the Gazette: