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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 2834..


Mrs Dunne: No idea on how to make the answer.

MR STANHOPE: I am happy to take the question on notice, but I think you need to be fair about it, Mr Stefaniak. I need to have a look at the transcript. I need to have a look at the questions that were asked. I need to have a look at the answers that were given and the context. There is a significant need to have available to us information from the insurance industry.

Mr Humphries: That is not what he said last month.

MR STANHOPE: I cannot believe that in the context.

Mr Humphries: It is unreliable, he said.

MR STANHOPE: It depends on the context. But one of the great issues in relation to insurance and part of the problems we have-

MR SPEAKER: Order! We ought not to anticipate debate on this issue.

MR STANHOPE: That is what I mean. That is the point I was trying to make.

Mr Humphries: How convenient.

MR STANHOPE: We should not anticipate debate, and I am not going to.

Mr Humphries: He is just asking you for some information.

MR STANHOPE: He is not. He is asking me to explain a provision in a bill that was tabled last week. How can that not be anticipating debate on the bill?

It is vital that we look at the core causes of the so-called crisis in public liability insurance and medical indemnity insurance. There is an awful lot of misinformation within the community. Some of it is disseminated by politicians looking for headlines, providing knee-jerk legislative responses such as Mr Smyth's grandstanding on an issue that requires careful long-term strategic thinking. It goes to the heart, Mr Stefaniak, of the point you raised.

What has caused this phenomenal increase in premiums? To what extent have the insurance industry and insurance companies justified the increases in premiums they have imposed? To what extent has lack of regulation of the insurance industry, particularly by your federal Liberal colleagues-

Mr Smyth: Oh, it is all their fault.

MR STANHOPE: It is. There is no doubt about that. There is no doubt that the HIH/FAI farce was a response to a lack of regulation, a lack of oversight, a lack of a firm hand by the federal government on the industry. Regulation of the industry has been farcical. The regulator has never required the industry to provide significant and serious responses on premiums, claims and information that a properly regulated industry should


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