Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 4252 ..
MR STANHOPE: But I want everybody to know what is going on here and to understand. In fact, Ms Tucker rolls back the government scheme just a touch further than I. I urge members to support the Labor Party's proposed amendment. I needed to make them aware of it.
MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (1.32 am): Mr Speaker, I move amendment No. 1 circulated in my name. The amendment reads as follows:
Page 4, line 10, proposed new section 2, insert the following definition:
" 'health professional' includes a registered psychologist under the Psychologists Act 1994.".
This is a very simple proposal, Mr Speaker, to include a definition of "health professional" in the definition section of the Bill. The definition simply ensures that psychologists, who frequently do the counselling which will now become a feature of the scheme that the Attorney proposes, are included as health professionals.
MR HUMPHRIES (Treasurer, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Community Safety) (1.33 am): Mr Speaker, I do not oppose the amendment but it is unnecessary because reference will be made in the definition of "health professionals" to the Health Services Act where psychologists are already included. It is belts and braces again, so I do not oppose it.
Amendment agreed to.
MR RUGENDYKE (1.34 am): Mr Speaker, I move amendment No. 1 circulated in my name. The amendment reads as follows:
Page 8, line 34, proposed new subsection 9 (2), omit the subsection.
Mr Speaker, this amendment will delete the Government's reference to police in the eligibility for financial assistance division.
MR KAINE (1.35 am): I wish to ask a question, Mr Speaker. If the Government put this clause in here, how come they are so willing to have it so easily removed? What was the purpose of having it here and what is the effect of removing it? I do not think it is good enough for the Government just to sit there and accept this amendment without explaining why it was an unimportant clause in the first place.
MR HUMPHRIES (Treasurer, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Community Safety) (1.36 am): I am happy to explain, Mr Speaker. I think this amendment is tied with Mr Rugendyke's amendment No. 2 which allows police officers to be treated as primary victims, and in fact expands it somewhat to include police officers, ambulance officers and firefighters. In effect it preserves their access to the scheme, and to payments for pain and suffering in respect of matters which fall within the ambit of the Act.