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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 3 Hansard (26 February) . . Page.. 1043..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

After the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, most insurance companies withdrew products offering coverage for an act of terrorism. Any products covering acts of terrorism that have been placed back on the market have been prohibitively expensive. As a result, it is either not possible, or is an unreasonable burden, for employers to gain workers compensation coverage for an act of terrorism. In order to provide protection for workers injured in the event of a terrorist incident, a temporary reinsurance fund was established through the insertion of the provisions of chapter 15 of the Workers Compensation Act. A series of amendments have extended this coverage. However, ACT workers are only covered for acts of terrorism that occur before 1 April 2009.

Insurance coverage for acts of terrorism is still either unavailable or prohibitively expensive. In order for workers in the ACT to remain protected in the event of an act of terrorism, chapter 15 of the Workers Compensation Act needs a further extension. It is appropriate to extend the provision for a further three years to allow for changes in the industry with regard to coverage, and for reconsideration by the government of the risks involved on a regular basis. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Dunne) adjourned to the next sitting.

Taxation Administration (Amounts Payable—Motor Vehicle Duty) Determination 2008 (No 1)

Motion for disallowance

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (10.26): I move:

That Disallowable Instrument DI2008-219, being the Taxation Administration (Amounts Payable—Motor Vehicle Duty) Determination 2008 (No 1), be disallowed.

On 19 August 2008, the Assembly passed an amendment to the Duties Act to provide for the relevant minister to implement a scheme of differential rates of duty for motor vehicles. This scheme of differential rates of duty was to be based on the environmental characteristics of each motor vehicle as set out in the green vehicle guide.

In principle, this scheme has had some attraction. Its intention is to provide a market signal—a pricing mechanism—to encourage people to buy new motor vehicles that are less damaging to the environment. During the debate on this amending bill, however, I and other members raised a number of concerns about the policy that was being proposed by the Stanhope-Gallagher government. Fundamentally, the duty scheme comprised flawed legislation. It was flawed in 2008 and it remains flawed today. The flaws in the scheme involved an unreasonable increase in duty for vehicles used by tradespeople and small businesses; penalties for those families which require particular vehicles because of family circumstances; penalties for larger families; the limited definition of environmental benefit; and the lack of incorporation of whole-of-life costs in the analysis of environmental performance.

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