Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

None . . Page.. 670 ..

MR HIRD (5.03): Mr Speaker, you have heard the arguments in this house for and against the appointment of the select committee. We are against it because, as the Minister has indicated in this debate, a consultant will be reporting on this question. That report will come before this house, once the Minister’s department has appointed the consultant. However, I understand that there is an amendment to be moved, to which the mover of the motion will agree. When and if that is agreed to, I am sure that this side of the house will give due consideration to the argument for the select committee.

I believe that we already have a very workable committee system within this place. These sorts of motions to establish select committees should be moved in extreme circumstances and not in an ad hoc arrangement. I believe that this is one of those times when that has actually occurred. I understand Mr Berry’s motives. Mr Berry could be seen to be running a campaign to be able to manipulate the position of the consultant, when the consultant is appointed, with respect to the Government's situation on this matter. However, I will be keen to see the outcome of this matter, Mr Speaker. I personally will not be supporting it; but, if this select committee is established, it should certainly report by the first sitting day in October. I understand that an amendment to that effect will be moved shortly.

MR DE DOMENICO (Minister for Urban Services and Minister for Industrial Relations) (5.05): I seek leave to speak again, Mr Speaker.

Leave granted.

MR DE DOMENICO: Mr Speaker, in order to facilitate the whole issue, to save time and perhaps to prevent members from becoming bored, I will now move the amendment that has been circulated in my name. I move:

Paragraph (3), omit “23 November 1995”, substitute “the first sitting day in October”.

Mr Speaker, in speaking very briefly to my amendment can I say that, whilst the Government is not doing cartwheels about the fact that we have this select committee, there is one thing that governments can do as well as oppositions can, and that is to count. Being in that situation - I have got to nine, and I realise that nine beats eight every time - I still think that it is a bit premature to have this committee established and working when the consultant has not yet been appointed and has not made his report. However, I am quite happy to have this committee convene. It has nothing to do at the minute, I imagine. That does not matter. It can meet, elect a chairperson and do whatever it needs to do.

I have moved the amendment to have the committee report on the first day of sitting in October because it is crucial that we do something about our current situation in terms of workers compensation. As I have said before, it is costing this Government and this community an absolute bomb - $30m. It has gone up by $10m over the past two years, and we are getting a lot of agencies that are saying, “There has been no increase at all in our claims history and claims record, yet our premiums keep going up”. As I am sure this

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .