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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (28 March) . . Page.. 1012 ..

MR HUMPHRIES: All right, okay; I will do that, Mr Speaker. You implied that and I said, "What's the solution," and you said, "Well, here, this is at least part of a solution." Okay, if it is part of the solution, what is the rest of it? Aren't we entitled to know what you are proposing? You are getting up in this place and saying, "The government has no solution to this problem." The government has conceded that it does not have a solution to this problem. If you are going to attack us on that basis, it surely implies that you have got an answer. Now, what is the answer? That is my question.

Mr Berry: We have. We are going to vote for this motion.

Mr Stanhope: We are debating and voting on this motion.

MR HUMPHRIES: No, you are not just doing that; you are also-

Mr Stanhope: We will be telling you later all the other things you are doing wrong.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Stop interjecting. Just be quiet. Proceed, Chief Minister.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I make the point to other members of this place that if you rise in this place to say the government has not got a solution, it is incumbent on you at least to suggest or hint at what your own solution to the problem is, and that is what I would say needs to happen.

It is possible, Mr Speaker, that there are some problems facing our community for which there are no ready answers. I am not so dogmatic as to assume that there is always an answer to every problem; you just have to find it. That may or may not be the case. I doubt that there are some solutions to some problems. I think, therefore, that we have to be very cautious about saying, "Well, this is the best thing that anyone has put up; therefore, it should be what we do." That is the risk in this approach.

MR RUGENDYKE (12.08): Mr Speaker, this debate is rather broad, but essentially it has come about because a training organisation that looks after, I think, about 300 apprentices approached Mr Osborne to solve an immediate problem. The immediate problem is that there is an insurance premium of about $450,000 for 2001, but for last year, when it was $415,000, total paid claims amounted to $19,255. That is by my reading of this document that I thank Mr Stanhope for tabling.

A decision on whether to support this motion or not depends on the level of sympathy you have for these apprentices who might find themselves unable to continue their apprenticeships balanced against the level of sympathy that you might have for the insurance companies. I must say that so far the apprentices are winning. You just have to look at how insurance companies treat people anyway. Just look back a few years ago. I think Ms Tucker referred to the floods in Wollongong where, surprise, surprise, the insurance companies did not insure home owners because apparently there was a flood as a result of a storm.

But what happened recently in the floods around Gunnedah or somewhere was that the insurance companies decided not to insure these people because it was not as a result of a storm. Members might correct me if I am slightly wrong there, but that is my

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