Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 7 Hansard (17 October) . . Page.. 1685 ..
MR BERRY: Our reaction was not to just go out and attack Comcare. We had in place legislation which could fix a problem which had not occurred just overnight. It was something that was inherited from the Commonwealth Government. You do not attack the insurance provider when you are not managing the business properly yourself. This committee of inquiry has looked at all the issues. The Government will weep and squirm, and try to blame somebody else again. The fact of the matter is that you cannot blame Comcare. That is not the problem.
I will go through some of the recommendations - the most important ones. This is the key recommendation:
(1) the Government retain Comcare as the compensation and rehabilitation provider for the ACTGS for a period of at least 12 months following the establishment of the statutory authority to enable an evaluation of:
(i) the effect of the committee's recommendations; and
(ii) Comcare's performance including the delivery of services to the ACTGS and whether the recommended arrangements are working effectively; and
(2) any consideration of the possible appointment of an alternative provider be contingent upon the outcome of that evaluation and the capacity of an alternative provider to deliver, at competitive cost, all the services currently provided to the ACTGS by Comcare.
We are not locked into some blind ideology about who should be the provider. What we are about is making sure that the focus is back onto working people. The establishment of that statutory authority is a most important issue. The committee has recommended:
That the Government legislate to establish a Statutory Authority:
(1) with responsibility for those functions performed by ACT WorkCover including the activities of the OH and S Inspectorate in relation to the ACTGS, the OH and S Act 1989, the ACTGS/TLC OH and S Agreement, the Codes of Practice and the ACTGS OH and S Policies and OH and S training;
(2) to take responsibility for all aspects of the rehabilitation of workplace injured ACTGS workers, including those functions carried out by rehabilitation case managers;