Page 5924 - Week 18 - Wednesday, 11 December 1991

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BILL 1991]

Debate resumed from 28 November 1991, on motion by Mr Berry:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

MADAM TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mrs Grassby): Is it the wish of the Assembly to debate this order of the day concurrently with order of the day No. 3, Workers' Compensation (Consequential Amendments) Bill? There being no objection, I will allow that course to be followed.

MR STEFANIAK (3.56): I will speak to this piece of legislation in principle. I also foreshadow, to save time, an amendment that will be moved by me on behalf of the Liberal Party. It is the only amendment we will be moving and it is a fairly substantial one in terms of principle.

This legislation has been a long time in coming. Tom Uren, when he was the Federal Minister, set up an advisory body to look at workers' compensation and come up with an agreement on what should go into territorial legislation. That was many years ago, back in the early 1980s. That body looked at it and came up with a number of recommendations. I understand that that was in 1984. The body was pretty representative: It included representatives from the Trades and Labour Council, the insurance industry, the Law Society and the department, and it formed a fairly effective working party.

That working party unanimously agreed to some 38 changes to the Workers' Compensation Ordinance, as it then was. I understand that 18 of those 38 changes were later identified in a draft Bill as being ones that could be actioned quickly.

Mr Berry: It is 17, Bill.

MR STEFANIAK: Well, 18 were identified, but only 17 appear in this Bill; hence our significant amendment in relation to what I will refer to as the eighteenth. It went missing.

Mr Berry: You were not listening to my earlier speech.

MR STEFANIAK: For the Deputy Chief Minister's benefit, it is my understanding that Mr Charles McDonald, who was the TLC representative, was quite happy with the termination provisions to be put in back in 1984. Something seems to have gone wrong, from what I can gather, in the last three months. We will hear a little more about that later. In relation to the Act, whilst there are a number of

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