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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3420 ..

MR SMYTH: This is on the white one circulated in my name, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you. Are we clear about this? We are dealing now with proposed new clause 3A, which is amendment No 2 on the white sheet.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause 4.

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Business, Tourism and the Arts and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (8.20): Mr Speaker, I ask for leave to move amendments 3 to 10 and 12 to 14 circulated in my name together.

Leave granted.

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I move amendments 3 to 10 and 12 to 14 circulated in my name [see schedule 2 at page 3475].

Amendments agreed to.

MR BERRY (8.21): I move amendment No 2 circulated in my name on the yellow sheet [see schedule 3, yellow sheet, at page 3540].

Mr Speaker, this goes to the 80 per cent rule. The first thing I want to refer to in relation to this matter is a report of a committee that inquired into the workers compensation system in the ACT. The members of the committee were myself, Mr Osborne and you, sir, so I am sure you will recall vividly every word of this report.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Berry, may I interpose, please? You have asked for an assistant to be with you, and the minister has also asked. I ask the Assembly: is permission granted for both the minister and the opposition spokesman on this matter to have people to assist them at their desks?

Leave granted.

MR BERRY: Thank you members. That will grease the rails, I think, and ensure that less goes wrong. Mr Speaker, the 80:20 rule was adopted for incorporation into the Workers Compensation Act as a recommendation from the inquiry into the workers compensation system which reported in May 2000. So it is not that old. It is important that we go to the issues around this.

The first thing I would say personally about this is that this completes a very clear picture to anybody interested in workers compensation about who should be covered and who should be paying premiums. That is the first rule. There are many other rules within the proposed act which cover this particular position, and it is being said that this may well widen the net. I hope so. When there was a committee of inquiry into this the major concern of people in business, in insurance, in government and amongst the work force was that the pool was inadequately provisioned because people were avoiding their responsibilities insofar as premiums were concerned or under-declaring their work force.

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