Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 4270 ..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
We have a class of people there that basically makes no claims other than for the police and victims of sexual offences. Yes, victims of sexual offences, which was put in there almost as an afterthought, which adds to the insult. We will provide a separate scheme for the police, ambulance officers and firefighters. This is a separate scheme we are creating. We are going to have two compensation schemes - one for the hoi polloi, then we have this special scheme, a separate scheme as a bit of an afterthought to make us feel a bit warm and fuzzy. We then include victims of sexual offences.
We cannot stretch that to include victims of domestic violence. That is asking far too much. That particular amendment of Ms Tucker's was defeated. Just in simple equity, justice to ensure that all of our residents, all citizens, all of our constituents are equal, we must support this amendment. There is just no rational reason for not supporting this amendment. It gets back to the crux of the issue, that the Attorney has allowed the basis of his scheme to be corrupted by this sort of amendment. What this amendment has done, Mr Rugendyke's amendment, is basically to undercut the integrity of the scheme that the Attorney was seeking to actually introduce.
Ms Tucker: Why is he supporting it?
MR STANHOPE: Well, that is right. It begs the question. Mr Rugendyke's amendment just breaches the integrity of the scheme. Once breached, in the interests of justice and equity and fairness, you have to go the whole way. The Labor Party does have some amendments we have moved to Mr Humphries' scheme. But they do not have the impact of the one we are discussing. We were prepared to try to work within the confines. We do not like it all that much, but we were prepared in our approach to accept the need to ratchet back the scheme.
We were prepared to accept a limit of $30,000. We were prepared to accept the need to report to police, except in some limited circumstances. We were prepared to accept concentration on counselling. But you have destroyed your scheme. By accepting Mr Rugendyke's amendment, you have destroyed the whole basis of your scheme and you now have no option but to go the full Monty in the interests of simple justice.
MR QUINLAN (2.45 am): Let me just say through you, Mr Speaker, to the Treasurer: If you wanted to save money what about the crazy idea of still having a common limit, somewhere between $50 and $30,000? You cannot use the saving of money to rationalise or justify an inequitable system.
That Ms Tucker's further amendment to Mr Rugendyke's proposed amendments be agreed to.