Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 6 Hansard (9 June) . .
It also requires the ACT Insurance Authority to make the required contribution to the lifetime care and support fund to enable this to occur, and that is of course reasonable. This bill appears consistent with the intent of the parent act and does not have any change to material scope, although there is talk of CTP. I was asked if this changed the CTP system. No it does not. I see a wry grin on the Chief Minister's face, because it was about this time in 2012—
Mr Barr: It's still on my list.
MR SMYTH: that we had quite a far-ranging debate on the nature of the CTP scheme—
Mr Barr: You know I'll never give up on it.
MR SMYTH: that went quite long into the night and was somewhat controversial. The Chief Minister has indicated it is still on his wish list. It is not on ours. We would not support any further changes to CTP that would diminish the rights of the insured. That was the position we took in the 2012 election. Our position has not changed. Clearly, the Chief Minister's position has not changed. And this is the position we will take to the 2016 election as well. But that said, we will be supporting the bill this evening.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (8.22): This bill makes a minor amendment to the lifetime care and support scheme that operates here in the territory. This Assembly first established the scheme in April 2014 to apply to people suffering catastrophic injuries received through a motor vehicle accident. We recently agreed to extend the scheme to cover catastrophic injuries acquired through work accidents. This bill makes some minor adjustments to the scheme. It allows for the scheme to provide lump sum or periodic payments in certain limited circumstances where a scheme participant is residing overseas.
Typically, the scheme does not provide lump sum payments, as they can lead to poorer health outcomes and are subject to the uncertainty of predicting an injured person's lifetime care needs. However, as the Chief Minister has explained in his introductory remarks, there are specific challenges when the injured person resides overseas. For example, coordinating the services between countries can delay the care and treatment of the participant which can potentially result in suboptimal health outcomes. It is appropriate in these rare circumstances to allow for payment flexibility.
The bill also corrects an oversight which would have meant that the lifetime care and support scheme would not have applied to ACT government-owned vehicles. This was because eligibility for the scheme required the vehicle to have compulsory third-party insurance, and the ACT government has in place self-insurance arrangements meaning some of its vehicles will not have a CTP policy. The result would have been that a person catastrophically injured by an ACT government vehicle would not have been eligible for the lifetime care and support scheme and this is clearly an oversight that does need to be corrected.
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