Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 4251 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
other schemes it should have agreed to adjourn this debate, at the very least, until we had seen the report. Perhaps the understanding that the Victorian Government is moving back to payments for pain and suffering has motivated it to move on quickly instead.
In lieu of payments for pain and suffering, the Government has proposed a limited form of special assistance. A significant proportion of victims for whom this assistance would be vital will be ineligible. The only realistic way that this legislation can keep faith with its stated aims of providing "a mix of rehabilitative, practical and financial assistance" is by reinstating payment in recognition of pain and suffering, for primary victims at the very least.
MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (1.30 am): Mr Speaker, I have great sympathy with what Ms Tucker seeks to achieve here. I foreshadow that my amendment No. 3 is on the same subject. This is one of those interesting drafting techniques. Ms Tucker is proposing to remove the definition of "extremely serious injury". The definition of "extremely serious injury" is in fact in proposed new section 11, so this is a bit odd. I propose by my amendment No. 3 to omit proposed new section 11 and replace it with another definition of "extremely serious injury". What I am suggesting is that great minds think alike, but the Labor Party - - -
MR SPEAKER: At 1.30 in the morning?
MR STANHOPE: This is quite difficult.
MR SPEAKER: What are you planning to do?
MR STANHOPE: I am just explaining so that people understand. This is quite complex. Ms Tucker and I basically are seeking to achieve a similar purpose. I am drawing attention to this because we are going to vote first on Ms Tucker's amendment, which then has this other related impact. People need to understand that. In making their decisions about Ms Tucker's proposed amendment, they need to look at what the Labor Party will propose in relation to the same issue.
Mr Humphries: So you are opposing her amendment. Is that right?
MR STANHOPE: Well, I am having a bit of a think about it actually because - - -
Mr Humphries: You cannot vote for yours and hers. You have to vote for one or the other.
MR STANHOPE: I know I cannot. That is why I am thinking as I speak. I am thinking on my feet.
Mr Humphries: Well, it doesn't need much thinking. If you put the amendment forward you must support your amendment, presumably.