Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 11 Hansard (25 October) . . Page.. 4246 ..
dedicated fund with the necessary accountability, transparency and governance arrangements in place to ensure that the territory meets its liabilities in relation to its public sector workers that are covered under the SRC Act.
As the Assembly may be aware, the territory has now applied to become a licensed self-insurer for workers compensation under the SRC Act. If the territory's self-insurance licence application is granted, the territory will be responsible for managing any new workers compensation claims made by its workers. The territory will also take over liability for existing claims by past and present ACT public sector workers.
The territory's public sector workers compensation claims are currently managed by Comcare under the SRC Act. The territory has delegated responsibility for return to work and vocational rehabilitation services which are performed by the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate.
The benefits of becoming a licensed self-insurer under the SRC Act are clear. It will provide the territory with more control and accountability in managing its public sector workers compensation claims portfolio. This would in turn assist the territory to realise a range of benefits, including improved health and return to work outcomes for injured ACT public sector workers, greater influence on the quality of support services and avoiding decisions at the federal government level in relation to the Australian public service, such as recruitment freezes or similar, impacting on the territory's capacity to manage workers compensation claims.
The separate fund provided under this bill for the management of the territory's workers compensation assets will establish governance and management arrangements in relation to those assets. I expect this legislation will be closely considered by the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, known as the SRCC, in considering the territory's self-insurance licence application. As a licensed self-insurer, the territory would be required to have appropriate prudential and financial governance arrangements in place to demonstrate that it can meet existing and future workers compensation liabilities in relation to the ACT public sector.
This bill is integral to meeting this requirement. Key elements of the bill include the establishment of a separate fund and reporting entity, the public sector workers compensation fund, for the purposes of ACT public sector workers compensation assets and liabilities, which will ensure transparency and accountability; and the management of assets held in the fund, specifically only allowing payments in connection with the territory's obligations as a licensed self-insurer to be made from the fund as stated in the bill.
Further elements include provisions regarding the determination of premium amounts to be paid by the territory into the fund to cover ACT public sector workers compensation liabilities; provisions regarding the investment of amounts held in the fund to maximise the efficiency of the territory in meeting its workers compensation liabilities; powers to make guidelines in relation to the fund, including, but not limited to, the investment of amounts held in the fund; the acceptable funding ratio for the