Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 1022 ..
MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):
been funded almost exclusively from government revenue. Through this budget measure the ACT will now follow the example of other States and partially fund the activities of its emergency services by way of a levy on insurance companies similar, for example, to the arrangements in New South Wales. Since it is similar to the levy in New South Wales, insurance companies should be capable of complying with the administrative processes with minimal adjustment.
Mr Speaker, our region has experienced some unfortunate tragedies - in the form of the Thredbo landslip and the loss of property in bushfires - that bring home the need for well-equipped emergency services with highly skilled members to assist the community in those disaster times. This levy will not recompense anything like the full cost of providing these emergency services to the people of Canberra. Its introduction will, however, reduce the call on the wider Consolidated Revenue Fund to maintain all emergency services and to finance improvements to those services. It is interesting to note, Mr Speaker, that in 1996-97 in the vicinity of $480m of funding for various fire services throughout Australia was provided through insurance levies. The proposed $10m contained in this budget measure for contribution by insurance companies in the ACT is a small relative cost for the benefits they receive through the activities of the emergency services. I commend the Bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mr Quinlan) adjourned.
MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (10.45): Mr Speaker, I present the Workers' Compensation (Amendment) Bill 1998, together with its explanatory memorandum.
Title read by Clerk.
MR HUMPHRIES: I move:
That this Bill be agreed to in principle.
I ask for leave to have my presentation speech incorporated in Hansard.
Speech incorporated at Appendix 6.
Debate (on motion by Mr Hargreaves) adjourned.