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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 4105..


MR QUINLAN (continuing):

This government has brought in the Civil Law (Wrongs) Bill. This government has been active within ministerial councils, working through this problem in a fashion that will bring real results. We have been working on our own part to bring real results at the grassroots level here in Canberra.

Remembering that we are two per cent of the Australian insurance market and that the Australian insurance market is two per cent of the world insurance market, we do not have a lot of clout. However, the people within the ACT administration have worked mightily to bring this about, and deserve every credit for what will be brought into play.

Of course, because of the current insurance market, the significant variable in all of this is ACCC approval. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has announced that the group insurance scheme proposed by Allianz Australia, QBE Insurance and the NRMA Insurance owner, Insurance Australia Group, can collectively offer insurance under an interim authorisation-so we have gone over the ACCC hump. The interim authorisation also allows the insurers to collectively offer public liability insurance to not-for-profit organisations. The ACCC has made the right decision, and this government has argued that this product will serve to enhance competition, not restrict it.

Already Suncorp Metway has trialled a similar product in Queensland, as Queensland plays catch-up to the initiative on foot in this territory. This will provide relief to the most needy segments of our community.

We have all heard of organisations with a zero claims history which have still not been able to obtain insurance cover. This insurance will be priced according to real risk, and will put an end to national or international pricing which precludes people who have adequate risk plans and minimal claims history who still cannot find insurance cover.

The scheme will be launched in the ACT as soon as it is available, and will provide immediate access to all of those organisations that are yet to find cover. I might add that there are quite a number of organisations which have already got cover because of the insurance authority within the ACT-because we have been the go-between, because we have been able to put not-for-profit and sporting community organisations in touch with insurers when they were unable to find one.

There are very few areas in the ACT that do not have cover today. There are still some, but only one or two. We are also operating a risk advisory website, which enables groups to construct and rate their risk profiles, and to abide by Australian Standards to make their risk plans comply, in order to qualify for cover.

Mr Speaker, what I really want to say is that I thought the shallow claims of the new Leader of the Opposition in relation to his dog's breakfast-shallow claims that are more than paralleled by the shallow claims he has made in relation to health-indicate that this guy has a long way to go and a lot of experience to gather in a very short space of time.

Mr Stanhope: I ask that further questions be placed on the notice paper, Mr Speaker.


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