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

Page.. 827..


In addition to this, letters have been sent to existing Comcare claimants to reassure them that the proposed changes will have no impact on their existing claims, which will continue to be managed by Comcare.

Information about the proposed new scheme has also been provided to other stakeholders, including public sector trade unions, insurers and ACT statutory authorities affected by the change.

The Head of Service announcement also outlined the consultation process, which is being led by the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate.

At the request of Unions ACT, I have extended the consultation period to 8 May 2015. As part of this process, officers from the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate are providing information sessions about the proposed changes to stakeholders, at the request of directorates or agencies.

All stakeholders, including public sector workers, are invited to make submissions about the proposed scheme design. These submissions will be vital in informing the government about stakeholder views and will assist in the final design of the new ACT workers compensation scheme for the public sector.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, when might the new scheme commence, and how will it be administered?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Porter for her supplementary question. As I have indicated, the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate is actively engaging stakeholders on the design of the new scheme. The start date for a new public sector scheme will be dependent on the feedback we receive and the outcomes of that consultation.

In relation to the proposed new scheme's administration, implementing a new scheme will require the ACT government to take responsibility for regulatory, administrative and scheme management functions that are currently being provided by the commonwealth under the Comcare scheme. I expect that regulatory compliance and enforcement functions will be performed by WorkSafe ACT, which has responsibility for ensuring compliance within the existing ACT private sector workers compensation scheme. I expect the Industrial Court will have the jurisdiction to hear disputes that arise under the new scheme. This approach will ensure an effective and efficient dispute resolution mechanism and is consistent with disputation arrangements under the ACT private sector workers compensation scheme.

Under the proposal, the territory would access improved claims management and policy services by selecting a private insurer to underwrite the scheme. I emphasise that the proposed new scheme will have no impact on the ACT private sector workers compensation scheme, which will continue to operate in parallel to the public sector scheme. Similarly, public sector workers with existing claims who are injured prior to


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