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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 7 Hansard (17 October) . . Page.. 1691..


MRS CARNELL (continuing):

that every department takes that approach. Health now is paying more than 9 per cent of its payroll to Comcare. That is what we inherited from you. The next highest State is at 3 per cent. No wonder we have problems in Health. This will not happen in the future, but it will take time to ensure that we do change this totally untenable situation. For the life of me, I cannot understand how Mr Berry, a Minister who allowed 295 people in Health to end up on the scrap heap, could make any of the comments he did.

Debate (on motion by Mr Humphries) adjourned.

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY (AMENDMENT) BILL 1995

MR DE DOMENICO (Minister for Urban Services and Minister for Business, Employment and Tourism) (11.07), by leave: I present the Occupational Health and Safety (Amendment) Bill 1995 and its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR DE DOMENICO: I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, I concede from the start that this is not an original idea of this Government. It is, in fact, the idea of Mr Berry. I acknowledge from the start that it is a good idea. It is a wonderful idea, in fact.

Mr Berry: Easy, Tony, please!

MR DE DOMENICO: I always give credit where it is due, Mr Berry. It is a pity that others do not do the same.

Mr Speaker and members of the Assembly, the Occupational Health and Safety (Amendment) Bill 1995 amends the principal Act to give the existing Occupational Health and Safety Council the additional responsibility of giving the Minister advice on workers compensation and occupational rehabilitation matters. In support of this Bill I shall shortly be introducing the Workers' Compensation (Amendment) Bill (No. 2), which makes minor consequential changes to the Workers' Compensation Act 1951.

Mr Speaker, under the existing arrangements, advice from industry on workers compensation and occupational rehabilitation matters is provided by the non-statutory Workers Compensation Monitoring Committee, which has representatives from employer organisations, unions and workers compensation insurers. The committee is chaired by a government official, and ACT WorkCover provides a secretariat to the committee. Although the body is a non-statutory body, it has some formal functions relating to an instrument known as the "protocol" approved under section 15F of the Workers' Compensation Act 1951. This situation of a non-statutory advisory body


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