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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (9 April) . . Page.. 850..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

The government will be examining all the issues canvassed in the communique, with a view to placing the territory in the best position to derive all the achievable benefits from this cooperative endeavour.

In the immediate future, as part of our effort to ease the burden on sporting and non-profit groups in the ACT, the government intends to provide stamp duty relief on public liability insurance premiums to those bodies. I will be introducing amendments to the Duties Act 1999 in the autumn 2002 sittings. Ex gratia relief will be considered pending passage of the legislative amendments.

Further, I have held very constructive and encouraging discussions with my counterparts in New South Wales and Victoria in relation to the possibility of the territory participating in group insurance and possible risk pooling arrangements presently being finalised in Victoria and in the final planning stages in New South Wales.

If a quick fix were available, it would already have been implemented. On the contrary, it is the government's intention to examine available data and options and then act in concert with our Commonwealth and state colleagues. That is the way to go. Members can rest assured that we will be pursuing all available avenues in this regard.

As a result of the ministerial meeting on public liability insurance, we have a prime opportunity to join this truly national approach to resolution. Our focus is quite simple: we believe it is important to protect the rights of individuals to just compensation, while recognising the need to keep costs and premiums at reasonable levels. We will also apply these principles consistently in all decisions on policy and other options at our disposal.

We believe it is essential to approach these issues in a considered way, one that preserves the territory's position and that of its community, one that is responsive to the needs of all territorians but which does not leave the territory standing alone in light of developments in other jurisdictions.

Finally, the government believes that the balanced approach I have outlined will not only serve the interests of the territory but also allow the market the flexibility it needs to self-correct, thus providing a sound economic basis on which the market can take the corrective action it needs without being inhibited by counterproductive interventions.

I will keep the Assembly advised of further developments as they occur.

I present the following paper:

Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministerial Insurance Summit-Ministerial statement, dated 9 April 2002.

Debate (on motion by Mr Humphries ) adjourned to the next sitting.

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