Page 557 - Week 02 - Thursday, 24 March 2022

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In recognition of the significance of this reform, it is right that we work with industry and home owners to ensure that appropriate transitional arrangements are in place. It is right that people are not presented with significant changes after they have entered into contracts and arrangements with builders.

We need to ensure that these transitional arrangements are put in place, but we need also to ensure that this reform is delivered in a timely way. We know that there is strong community support for this initiative because Canberrans know our city needs this change.

Change can be challenging, but I am confident that we can finalise this variation in a way that addresses the short-term transitional issues with clarity and fairness, while locking in the rules that will deliver important long-term goals for our city.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Workers compensation—inquiry into transfer from Comcare

Ministerial statement

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.32): I rise to make a statement in response to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts report No 4 of 2022, entitled Inquiry into the Auditor-General’s Report No. 6 of 2020: Transfer of Workers’ Compensation Arrangements from Comcare.

I welcome the public accounts committee’s interest in this government’s initiatives to improve services for injured and ill public servants. I was pleased to attend the committee hearings on 16 June last year to discuss the project, which designed and established a new workers compensation self-insurer for the ACT public service and which managed the transfer of all past ACT public sector workers compensation claims from Comcare to the new self-insurer.

The decision to establish a workers compensation self-insurer for the ACT public sector reflected a maturing of the ACT government’s approach to work safety and injury management. Prior to March 2019, the ACT was the only Australian state or territory that outsourced responsibility for providing workers compensation services for its public servants to another government. That arrangement meant that important decisions affecting the health and wellbeing of our workers were taken by the commonwealth government.

Since commencing self-insurance, the ACT government determines the number of staff who provide services to our injured workers, the performance and service standards that govern that work, and how we measure its success. By taking responsibility for all aspects of the injury prevention, management and rehabilitation process, we have made a large and impactful improvement to health, welfare and work outcomes for public servants who become injured or ill because of their work.

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