Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 6 Hansard (10 May) . . Page.. 2315..
MR SPEAKER: Ms Gallagher, you have the floor.
MS GALLAGHER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I will finish on the point that I note the other insurers did not participate in terms of written submissions or appearances before the committee, and that is regrettable. But all the advice to me, and I am sure to members in their private capacities, is that unless we tackle the high cost, legalistic nature of the compulsory third-party scheme in the ACT we will see no competition and we will continue to see premiums rise. That is the very clear advice.
I agree with other members that we have to look at road safety, that we have to encourage safe driving. The data is clear. ACT drivers are some of the worst in the country. But the advice to me is that that has to do with our very good road network. We have cars travelling at high speed around the city and when there are crashes, they occur at high speed. That causes injury to drivers and serious damage to vehicles. The last figure I saw showed that we had double the accident rate of New South Wales drivers. So, yes, we have got to tackle that. I think that all of us as an Assembly must work on that and on those messages around road safety.
But that in itself will not put downward pressure on premiums. They are going to continue to rise. I can predict that in the next Assembly we will be dealing with legislation along the same lines unless members in this place want to see compulsory third-party premiums continue to rise at the rate they have been rising. That affects every single Canberra household that owns a vehicle.
I accept that this is too controversial an issue for the Assembly to deal with in the lead-up to the election. Nobody wanted to take on the plaintiff lawyers. Everybody knew what sort of campaign they would run. But this government took a different view. We felt we should deal with it. It is the right thing to do and my prediction is that next year the Assembly will be dealing with legislation similar to the legislation that I introduced over a year ago.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Justice and Community Safety—Standing Committee
MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella) (10.32): Pursuant to the order of the Assembly of 17 November 2011, as amended on 29 March 2012, I present the following report:
Justice and Community Safety—Standing Committee—Report 11—Inquiry into Liquor Fees and Subordinate Legislation, dated 10 May 2012, together with a copy of the extracts of the relevant minutes of proceedings.
That the report be noted.