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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 8 Hansard (27 June) . . Page.. 2333..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

(2) the impact of revenue raising on social equity, the environment and the overall economy of the Territory, in particular the employment and investment opportunities; and

(3) the value for money of the cost-effectiveness of incentives which involve forgoing revenue.

Workers Compensation (Acts of Terrorism) Amendment Bill 2002

Debate resumed from 25 June 2002, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SMYTH (12.22): Mr Speaker, this is essential legislation that needs to be passed by 30 June, to allow the introduction of the workers compensation legislation that was passed on 28 August last year.

This amendment to the act is a consequence of the events of September 11 last year. We are all well aware of the consequences of that shameful act in New York. Part of the fallout of that is the effects on the insurance and reinsurance markets around the world. Those effects are also felt here in the ACT. We must make sure we provide a framework whereby workers affected because of an act of terrorism have certainty, through the workers compensation legislation, if they become entitled to compensation. It is important that this happens and that it happens today.

I have had briefings from the department, as has Mr Pratt. Mr Pratt will also be making a few short remarks about this. It is important to make sure we safeguard workers and their rights, that we have a framework of certainty which allows those rights to be protected, and that employers are able to gain the appropriate workers compensation legislation to provide those benefits, should they be required.

What the act does is allow, if required, the establishment of a fund that would make sure there is certainty of payment to workers who are injured as a result of an act of terrorism.

Mr Speaker, the government will be supporting these amendments. We believe it is essential that they go ahead. This will build on the good work of the new workers compensation legislation.

Mr Corbell: I hope the opposition will be supporting the amendments too!

MR SMYTH: I am sorry. The opposition will be supporting the amendments. I am sure the government will be supporting their amendments, and the opposition will be supporting the amendments as well. This builds on the good work done by the previous government. I am satisfied that, with the few words or caveats that Mr Pratt will place, this will provide the kind of protection that is required of workers rights, and allow workers compensation to proceed in the ACT.

MR PRATT (12.24): Mr Speaker, we support in principle the introduction and implementation of this amendment bill. It is of some concern to me that it has taken quite some time for this bill to be put together, with insufficient time to fully analyse all


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