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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 5 Hansard (7 April) . . Page.. 1547..


MR MULCAHY (continuing):

debate over Telstra's involvement and the value of calls to Lifeline. I think it is commendable that at the federal level political intervention rescued that arrangement so that Lifeline is able to continue on with their good work. But I think that probably the message out of that is that, given that there is a compelling case—that this is essentially an essential service being provided by Lifeline—it behoves governments to step in and provide some support for this activity in relation to the cost of these calls. The issue appears now to have been resolved for the time being; but the reality is that it may well come up again in the future and we need to find a solution to ensure the organisation is not impeded in its very important work on behalf of the community.

There is no doubt that Lifeline meets people at their point of need and I, along with my colleagues in the Liberal Party, am very pleased to have this opportunity to place on record my appreciation and support for the great work done by the Lifeline organisation.

Estimates 2005-2006—Select Committee

Membership

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Speaker has been notified in writing of the following nominations for membership of the Select Committee on Estimates for 2005-2006: Dr Foskey, Ms MacDonald, Mr Mulcahy, Ms Porter and Mr Seselja.

Motion (by Mr Hargreaves ) agreed to:

That the Members so nominated be appointed as members of the Select Committee on Estimates 2005-2006.

Executive business—precedence

Ordered that executive business be called on forthwith.

Workers Compensation Amendment Bill 2005

Debate resumed from 5 April 2005, on motion by Ms Gallagher:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (4.17): The purpose of this bill is to ensure the continued government underwriting of compensation entitlements for workers injured or killed in a terrorist attack. This continuation of underwriting is to be achieved by extending expiry dates for that underwriting from 2006 to 2009.

The need for this legislation had its origins in the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York in 2001 and the massive claims that resulted from that horrific circumstance and event. As a consequence of those attacks, most insurers ceased to offer terrorism insurance, and the few that remained offered only very limited coverage at prohibitive rates.

Since the viability of the ACT workers compensation scheme was threatened, the ACT government, and indeed other governments in Australia, had no option but to step in with temporary reinsurance support. That works by the establishment of a temporary


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