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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 4 Hansard (7 April) . .

Page.. 1241..

Damages awarded for serious and complex injuries in particular are also at risk of being eroded by legal costs and the uncertainties of litigation. Lump sum payments also often involve stressful litigation and, as we have seen in so many instances, can delay early access to medical treatment. The Productivity Commission found that injured people who are poorly managed in the beginning of care and support can require increased costs and experience poorer health outcomes. A catastrophically injured worker with a worker's compensation claim would still, though, be able to claim other types of compensation for economic and non-economic loss through the workers compensation scheme.

The bill also removes from the workers compensation legislation certain obligations on insurers, such as personal injury plans, to reflect the transfer of treatment and care responsibilities to the LTCS scheme. These changes are necessary to reflect the various responsibilities under the two schemes and to streamline how the two schemes interact.

The LTCS scheme for workers will be fully funded through a levy imposed on workers compensation insurers and self-insurers. The funding provisions contained in the bill ensure that there is no cross-subsidisation of funding between motor vehicle injuries and work injuries in the LTCS scheme. The levy will be determined by the ACT Lifetime Care and Support Commissioner based on independent actuarial advice.

As ultimately the levy will be factored into workers compensation premiums, this will continue to provide incentives for injury prevention in workplaces. The impact on premiums charged by insurers as a result of this bill will depend on the amount insurers currently have factored into their premiums to cover for catastrophic treatment and care costs, which they will no longer be on risk for, compared with the LTCS levy that insurers will be charged.

The establishment of the NIIS for work injuries will further build on the important reform of the LTCS scheme, which has changed the way we respond to the needs of those who are catastrophically injured. It will provide participants with certainty over their treatment and care for life that will give them, and their families, the best opportunity to participate in society.

Madam Speaker, I commend this bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth) adjourned to the next sitting.

Planning, Building and Environment Legislation Amendment Bill 2016

Mr Gentleman, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

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