Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 4254 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
We know that about 30 per cent of the cost of the so-called blow-out that we are looking at is a result of these sorts of work-related incidents. In the ACT Assembly right now we have an opportunity to look at issues of workers compensation. It seems to me that this is a process which is not really based on much more than Mr Rugendyke's connection with the police force and a similar grouping. So there is some kind of consistency in that grouping, but bank tellers are left out. Then we get sexual assault thrown in because someone obviously has persuaded Mr Rugendyke that this is something worth supporting.
It is the inconsistency and the ad hoc nature of this form of development of legislation that is of such a concern to me. Anyone who looks at this piece of legislation from outside will think, "What on earth went on in that Assembly?". So we now have this class of people, ambulance officers, firemen, police and people who are victims of sexual assault. Well, in my amendment I am going to try to add victims of domestic violence.
I was inclined in one way to step right back from this, but we know there are just as many representations made about domestic violence. The same group of people, women, are most commonly victims of sexual assault, so I will try to make it a little bit more balanced. I will add domestic violence victims in case I do not get the other part of my amendment supported, which seeks to take away the exclusivity of the list. What we know well, and we have had this debate in this place before, is that when you put a list in legislation there is an exclusivity about it. I will try to amend it so that we make it a general grouping which can be decided by the processes that are in place and not some ad hoc list that has been imposed by this place for reasons that are not supported by any real arguments. They are inconsistent. It is just an appalling process for developing legislation.
I also will be opposing Mr Rugendyke on this. I am also very surprised that the Government would support this amendment. I can only imagine that they are allowing their legislation to be butchered in this way, or messed up - whatever language you like to use - because they feel they owe something to Mr Rugendyke, which is understandable because he keeps supporting them, but it is not good process.
MR QUINLAN (1.43 am): There is a fundamental error in logic here. This does not stand up. Apparently what you are looking for is to pay more because of a higher frequency; more per instant because there is the possibility of a higher frequency. That needs to be supported. Because of the possibility of it happening more than once, why would you pay more for each time? There is no justification for that.
Mr Humphries: It is an occupational threat.
MR QUINLAN: Well, as an occupational threat, if there is frequency and if there is basic training, I would have thought there is some basis for a reverse in the logic and to pay less for someone who might become inured to this problem, much as a footy player can take a smack in the head and walk off and have a beer at the end of the night, whereas the guy who is not used to rough and tumble might not. But, leaving that aside, I do not actually want to pay less, and I do not want what I am saying to be argued