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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 1188 ..

Workers' Compensation (Amendment) Bill 1998

Mr Speaker, I present the Workers' Compensation (Amendment) Bill 1998 to give effect to a Budget initiative.

The Workers' Compensation Act 1951 provides for workers in the private sector to be compensated for work related injuries. One aspect of the scheme established by the Act is that the Magistrates Court provides an arbitration service in the event of a dispute.

The costs of this service are at present borne by the general community. The Government has decided that those who benefit from this service should bear the cost of the service. Accordingly, it has decided that a levy for the costs of administration of the Act is to be imposed on worker's compensation insurers and those employers who have been exempted from having insurance. It is intended the only costs to be covered by the levy will be those of the Magistrates Court in providing an arbitration service. Other costs borne by the community, such as the costs of an inspectorate and the costs of actions in the Supreme Court, will not be included. This is a matter that will be kept under review.

It is estimated the levy will raise approximately $300,000 in the 1998/99 financial year.

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