Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (9 August) . . Page.. 2841 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

able to deal with it until the minister gets back in order to debate all the issues, which I am sure his staff will be busily working on when he is away.

Mr Speaker, workers compensation legislation is a fundamental for workers. Without a safety net in place in the workplace we would be going backwards. What we have to ensure in our discussion of this legislation is that we get an outcome which comprehensively deals with the problems of workers. I want to make sure that at the end of the day we end up with a comprehensive rehabilitation process to ensure that workers are returned to work rather than becoming captive of legal action or some other arrangements within the legislation which do not lend themselves well to full rehabilitation and recovery of workers who are injured.

Of course, the fundamental issue is to address injuries, but we have a long history in this place of addressing that through occupational health and safety approaches. We cannot say that the work is complete there; there is more work to be done.

In relation to this legislation, at this stage Labor is prepared to support it up to the in-principle stage. As soon as we can get all these amendments on the table we will busily address ourselves to completing legislation. It is my aim at this stage, Mr Speaker, subject again to discussions with stakeholders, to end up before this Assembly rises with a complete piece of legislation which has had the endorsement of this Assembly. That is no mean aim, I think, in the context of things because it is pretty comprehensive legislation.

The amendments which will be before the house in due course will form the basis of a comprehensive piece of legislation for the management of workers compensation in the ACT for some years to come. We are happy, as I said, to support the legislation to the in-principle stage, and I look forward to an in-depth debate about amendments in due course.

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Business, Tourism and the Arts and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (3.20 am), in reply: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the Assembly for their support for this legislation. It is very important legislation.

Ms Tucker: Is this closing the debate?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, he is.

MR SMYTH: We have worked for some 21/2 years to make it work. I have a detailed speech here that I would like to give but I will wait and do it in the detail stage. I would like to compliment the officers who have worked very long and hard. I would like to compliment them on the amount of consultation and the thoroughness with which that was conducted. I would like to thank all those that have been involved.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .