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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 1 Hansard (21 February) . . Page.. 109 ..

Compulsory Third-Party Insurance

MR HIRD: My question is to Mr De Domenico in his capacity as Minister for Urban Services, and it was triggered by a radio report earlier this day. Could the Minister inform the parliament as to the future of the Territory's compulsory third-party insurance scheme?

MR DE DOMENICO: I thank Mr Hird for his question. In June last year, the Government announced the establishment of a working party as a first step towards introducing real competition into ACT compulsory third-party insurance. This was in response to a review of community ideas on compulsory third-party insurance carried out in 1993-94 by my predecessors, Mr Connolly and Mr Lamont, where it was found that there was a need for competition. As I said, that was done as early as 1993-94. The committee report into third-party insurance in the ACT, which I have released today, recommends the introduction of competition into third-party insurance. It is as simple as that.

The steering committee on a review into motor vehicle third-party insurance in the ACT has found that there is great need to attract competition into third-party insurance in order to provide more options than the current single insurer, which is the NRMA. This Government will consider amending legislation to encourage a competitive market. It is important to note that the basis of the scheme will remain unchanged. For example, third parties will continue to be compensated for the negligence of another person. Under the revised scheme, motorists will be required to have a green slip in order to choose their insurer. There will be some variation allowed in an insurer's premiums - - -

Mr Whitecross: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I fail to see how this is not an announcement of Government policy. He is announcing green slips and all sorts of other things. That is not the role of question time.

MR DE DOMENICO: It has been announced before.

Mr Whitecross: When?

MR DE DOMENICO: When you were away on holidays, probably.

Mr Humphries: On the point of order: The standing orders say that Ministers shall not be asked to announce Government policy. The question did not ask that. The question asked what is the view of the Government about it and what is the future of third-party insurance. That is not a request to announce Government policy.

Mr Whitecross: Mr Speaker, on the point of order: I do not think Mr Humphries can avoid the import of the point of order by paraphrasing the words "Will you announce Government policy?" as "What is the Government's view on this subject?", which is the subject of Government policy. He is announcing Government policy.

MR SPEAKER: It is a very long bow. Mr De Domenico has already indicated that the matter has been promulgated and that he is clarifying it for Mr Hird. I do not uphold the point of order, Mr Whitecross. Continue, Mr De Domenico.

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