Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 22 November 2007) . . Page.. 3694 ..
Rehabilitation works. Ask almost any professional footballer or elite athlete. Players with what would once have been seen as career-ending injuries can be back on the field in six to eight weeks, whereas previously they would have been hobbling around with a limp for life, eking out their testimonial money. Rehabilitation is available under the existing CTP scheme. However, ask almost any claimant and they would not know or they will tell you that their lawyer has expressed concern about it.
The cost of claims where rehabilitation is late or not engaged is ultimately higher than it should be. The Queensland Motor Accident Insurance Commission, together with both plaintiff and defence lawyers in Brisbane, spoke very highly of the rehabilitation available under the Queensland scheme and how insurers were well geared up to meet their responsibilities.
Without getting into specifics, I think there will be continued alignment of the schemes in the ACT, New South Wales and Queensland, based on the efficiency and fairness of the Queensland scheme.
Yes, it will save insurers money. So what—if the injured people, the people for whom the CTP scheme exists, physically recover to the maximum extent possible, and receive the financial compensation to which they are entitled, much sooner? It will lower the premiums motorists pay, as will the reduction in legal costs due to mandating a more efficient legal process. Yes, it opens the door to competition by rewarding insurers with efficient claims handling systems, instead of taking a costs-plus approach.
Genuine reform of the ACT compulsory third-party insurance scheme is a reform that is long overdue. This government has bitten the bullet. We have acted decisively through this bill and I commend it to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mr Mulcahy) adjourned to the next sitting.
Territory-Owned Corporations Amendment Bill 2007
Mr Stanhope, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.
Title read by Clerk.
MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Minister for the Environment, Water and Climate Change, Minister for the Arts) (10.48): I move:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
Today I present the Territory-Owned Corporations Amendment Bill 2007. The main purpose of this bill is to extend the default commencement date of the Territory-Owned Corporations Amendment Act 2006 by six months.