Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 10 Hansard (25 September) . .
The amendments proposed in this bill closely reflect the New South Wales approach and are in line with updated nationally agreed arrangements. The updated national guidance material imposes three main tests to be considered sequentially for determining a cross-border worker's state of connection. They are: where the worker usually works, where the worker is usually based, or the location of the employer's principal place of business in Australia. A state of connection test is prescribed in part 4.2A of the Workers Compensation Act 1951. However the legislation does not provide the level of direction needed to ensure all decision-makers apply the tests consistently. This bill amends the Workers Compensation Act 1951 and strengthens the state of connection provisions by inserting "usually based" and "principal place of business tests" based on the updated national guidance material.
The bill also inserts examples adapted from the national guidance material in the act in order to give direction to decision-makers when considering where the worker usually works or is usually based. These changes to the Workers Compensation Act 1951 are expected to enable employers to readily determine where to obtain workers compensation insurance, ensure workers temporarily working in other states or territories have access to the workers compensation entitlements available in their home jurisdiction, and provide certainty for workers about their workers compensation entitlements.
The ACT government is mindful of the economic pressures facing territory businesses large and small, and this bill has potential to reduce insurance costs by restoring employers' confidence in the need to insure their workers in only one jurisdiction and by reducing the number and the cost of uninsured claims. This bill highlights the government's commitment to reducing regulatory costs for ACT employers and maintaining the best possible workers compensation scheme for both workers and employers.
Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth) adjourned to the next sitting.
Annual and financial reports 2013-14
Reference to standing committees
Debate resumed from 18 September 2014, on motion by Mr Corbell:
(1) the annual and financial reports for the calendar year 2014 and the financial year 2013-2014 presented to the Assembly pursuant to the Annual Reports (Government Agencies) Act 2004 stand referred to the standing committees, on presentation, in accordance with the schedule below;
(2) the annual reports of ACT Policing and the Office of the Legislative Assembly stand referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety and Standing Committee on Public Accounts respectively;
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