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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 3 Hansard (18 March) . .

Page.. 824..


MR BARR: They are like children. Well might you shake your head, Madam Speaker, because that motherly demeanour comes to the fore when the children are misbehaving, as we are seeing here. Let me be clear—if I can be, uninterrupted, even for just 15 seconds—and make the point that we will not have the same novelty balloons each year. We need to ensure there is variety in the novelty balloons that fly in—

Mr Smyth: It's the symbol of centenary. You've let it go.

MR BARR: And the centenary was two years ago. That is so 2013, Mr Smyth. I know you are trapped in the past, Mr Smyth—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order! Address the chair.

MR BARR: but we are focused on the future and there will be new and different novelty balloons that are part of the balloon spectacular in the years ahead. That may or may not involve Skywhale. It certainly will not involve Skywhale flying every year.

Opposition members interjecting

MADAM SPEAKER: Before I call Ms Fitzharris, I know that ballooning is fun, but I am sure Ms Fitzharris will have a question of more gravitas and I would like to hear it.

Mr Barr: Involving less hot air, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: It may indeed involve less hot air.

Workers compensation—Comcare

MS FITZHARRIS: My important question is to the Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations. Minister, why has the government taken the decision to exit Comcare and create its own workers compensation scheme for the ACT public service?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Fitzharris for her question. As the Assembly would be aware, the ACT government recently announced that it has decided to cease obtaining its workers compensation insurance from the commonwealth workers compensation scheme, Comcare. Instead, we will work with staff of the trade unions and other stakeholders to develop a new scheme for the ACT public sector workers within the territory's own legislative jurisdiction.

There were a number of considerations which prompted the ACT government's decision to leave the Comcare scheme. First and foremost, it was considered that the needs of the ACT's public sector would be better met by a workers compensation scheme that was under the territory's own jurisdiction, a scheme run by the territory for the territory.


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