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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 14 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 4827 ..

Exposure Draft and Paper

MR DE DOMENICO (Minister for Urban Services) (3.41): For the information of members, I present an exposure draft of the Motor Traffic (Amendment) legislation relating to compulsory third-party insurance, including explanatory notes. I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the papers.

The Government has tabled in the Assembly today a draft exposure Bill, which I will refer to as the Bill, that provides detail of the proposed changes to the current ACT compulsory third-party insurance scheme. The Bill is not the final view of Government, but it does represent our thinking on proposed amendments to the scheme. We are proposing the amendments because this is what the steering committee established by the previous Government to review the ACT CTPI scheme has recommended. It is in response to the findings of that review that the Government has decided to amend the current CTPI legislation to encourage additional insurers into the ACT market. The Government has also accepted many of the recommendations of the review committee, which aim to ensure that the scheme operating in the ACT is fair and effective and provides compensation at an affordable price. The basis of the scheme remains unchanged, in that injured third parties will continue to be compensated for the negligence of another person, with access to full common law benefits.

The key amendments include establishing an interim independent authority to regulate the competitive market and to perform the functions of the Nominal Defendant, although the Government is having discussions with the New South Wales Motor Accidents Authority with a view to contracting the regulatory function to them; separating the purchase of third-party insurance from the registration process, which involves interdicting of a New South Wales-type greenslip scheme that will enable motorists to shop around for the best price, as insurers will be permitted to vary their base premium to reward groups with a good accident history; and introducing measures to improve scheme efficiency through encouraging early investigation and assessment of claims, alternative dispute resolution, rehabilitation, and fraud prevention.

Tabling the amendments as we have done provides for the best possible community consultative process on the proposed changes. I invite the community to comment on the proposed changes by 24 January 1997, preparatory to finalising legislation for the introduction of an amending Bill into the Assembly in February 1997, if I am still the Minister. I expect that the amendments will take effect from 1 July 1997.

Debate (on motion by Mr Whitecross) adjourned.

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