Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 8 May 2014) . . Page.. 1282 ..
Last year the Assembly passed the Statute Law Amendment Act 2013 (No 2). That act contained technical amendments to the Civil Law (Wrongs) Act 2002 and the Workers Compensation Act 1951. The amendments change references to “all males average total earnings” to “all employees average weekly total earnings”. Therefore, the amendments that I am moving today will reverse those changes.
The Statute Law Amendment Act changes commenced on 25 November last year. They had the unintended effect of changing which Australian Bureau of Statistics measures could be used to calculate damages for lost earnings. The amendments I am moving today will restore the previous measures and ensure that no member of the community faces reduced compensation simply because of this technical oversight.
The amendments commence retrospectively from 25 November 2013. Because the change was an oversight and not intended, these amendments will ensure that no compensation claims made from the time of the 2013 changes are affected.
I commend the amendments to the Assembly.
MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (11.26): The opposition will support these amendments, which, as the Attorney-General has outlined, correct an error made by amendments made in the Statute Law Amendment Bill 2013 (No 2) to the Civil Law (Wrongs) Act 2002 and the Workers Compensation Act 1951.
The amendments proposed in this bill affect the definition of average weekly earnings. In the case of the Civil Law (Wrongs) Act they relate to the limit of three times average weekly earnings as the maximum amount of damages for loss of earnings a court can assess in relation to damages for personal injury claims. In relation to the Workers Compensation Act they relate to the dictionary section of the act and so apply whenever it is referred to in the act.
These amendments are retrospective to November 2013. I caution that they should not be to the detriment of any person who has a relevant claim or, furthermore, any person who may make a claim in the future. I call on the government to monitor the potential for such a situation and to take necessary action to ensure that no claimants are disadvantaged.
We will support these amendments.
Amendments agreed to.
Bill, as a whole, as amended, agreed to.
Bill, as amended, agreed to.
Statute Law Amendment Bill 2014
Debate resumed from 10 April 2014, on motion by Mr Corbell:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.