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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 3 Hansard (18 March) . . Page.. 1082..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

thank members for their contributions to the debate and for their support for this important legislation this morning.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Workers Compensation (Default Insurance Fund) Amendment Bill 2010

Debate resumed from 25 February 2010, on motion by Ms Gallagher:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (10.30): This bill, which the opposition will support, is another in a series of bills to streamline the workers compensation system in the ACT, including the default insurance fund. The Assembly passed another bill to refine the default insurance fund in October last year.

In essence, this bill seeks to do two things. Firstly, it will reduce the size of the Default Insurance Fund Advisory Committee from six to three external members appointed by the minister, while retaining the fund manager and the Chief Executive of the Chief Minister's Department on the advisory committee. Currently, the six ministerial appointees are spread equally to draw on their experience and expertise as employers, employees and insurers. The amendment will reduce these six appointees to three, with each appointee having experience as an employer, an employee and an insurer, respectively.

I understand that the terms of the current ministerial appointees will expire on 30 June 2010. I further understand that the recruitment process for the three new ministerial appointees will commence as soon as this bill passes, with a view to having the new committee in place by 1 July 2010. I commend the government for its intention of having the new provisions in place on time and I will be watching to ensure that that happens.

Given that the work of the committee is not particularly onerous or complex, reducing the size of the committee would seem sensible. In addition, the committee's principal role is not one of governance but of giving advice when requested, which, on past record, is relatively infrequently.

Notwithstanding the reduction in the size of the committee, it will have little impact on budgetary considerations, since ministerial appointees to the committee do not receive any remuneration.

The bill also serves to clarify the committee's role. Currently, the act requires the committee to "monitor"the operations of the default insurance fund and provide


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