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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008-2009 Week 1 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 444..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

and that would have been far more appropriate to allow the appropriate scrutiny and the detail that can often be only provided by officials.

That being said, Treasurer, I thank you for all your answers this evening. It is a shame some of your colleagues cannot answer as quickly and as easily.

Remainder of bill agreed to.

Bill agreed to.

Road Transport (Third-Party Insurance) Amendment Bill 2008 (No 2)

Debate resumed from 9 December 2008, on motion by Ms Gallagher:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (10.23): The opposition will be supporting this bill. This bill I think could be truly claimed to be a transitional arrangements bill. For those that are not aware, until now the role of nominal defendant in the ACT has been provided by the NRMA. Changes in the previous Assembly have led to an arrangement where that will be unacceptable as other providers of compulsory third party enter the market and break the sole market share, or the total market share, that NRMA has had.

So it leads to a need for a change of arrangements. Those arrangements now mean that the nominal defendant will be provided by the ACT Insurance Authority, and that is a reasonable thing. Negotiations currently go on with the NRMA to transfer across the outstanding cases and moneys to cover those cases in the expectation that they will be finalised.

What this bill does is allow anyone who has fallen through the gap in effect and has not got their claim in on time, or is outside the limit for claims, to be accommodated. There is a safety clause so that you do not have unscrupulous people just trying it on. This allows them to go to court and make the case to a court that they would like to be included in the scheme. It is then up to the court to make that decision.

I would like to thank the minister for the prompt offer of a briefing, after she yelled at me across the table the other day, which was only to get my attention, of course. I would like to compliment her on her officials and her staff who came down. All our questions were answered on the spot, except for one and we had a very quick response to that with some information provided from other organisations.

It is pleasing to see that the consultation on this has been quite broad. All the relevant people that I would have expected to be contacted were contacted and they have simply confirmed that they believe that this bill is appropriate. With that, we will be supporting the bill.

MS HUNTER (Ginninderra-Parliamentary Convenor, ACT Greens) (10.25): This bill corrects a problem in the new compulsory third-party scheme introduced at the end of the last term.


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