Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 8 Hansard (27 June) . . Page.. 2337 ..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
The level of the levy is addressed in amendments I circulated to members earlier this week, which set the upper limit of the levy at 10 per cent. So it is not an open-ended arrangement. That was tabled quite clearly earlier this week.
Mr Speaker, I agree that this is a short period of time, but these are unusual circumstances. We have to ensure that workers compensation protections are in place for employees in the territory.
Legislation was introduced on 6 June. I wrote to members on 7 June advising them to receive a briefing and advice on this issue. As I understand it, most members did not take up this offer until either late last week or early this week. The government has acted in a timely and appropriate manner, given the circumstances we face. I thank members for their support and look forward to seeing this bill passed.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
Bill, by leave, taken as a whole.
MR CORBELL (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations) (12.38): Mr Speaker, I ask for leave to move amendments Nos 1 to 6 circulated in my name, together.
MR CORBELL: I move amendments Nos 1 to 6 circulated in my name, together [see schedule 1 at page 2393].
Mr Speaker, after I tabled the bill, further consultation was conducted with stakeholders. During consultation with the insurance industry, a question was raised as to the rate of levy which could be imposed by the fund manager. In the absence of a maximum rate of levy, as in the Workers Compensation Supplementation Fund Act, the insurance industry was concerned about the actuarial rating which may be applied to cover the potential cost of such a levy.
Experiences in the past, where limitations have not been set, have resulted in actuaries applying more conservative estimates to the scheme than may be required. This has resulted in pushing up the cost of premiums. The cap on the maximum rate that the fund manager could charge in any given year would remove this uncertainty and the potential for upward cost pressures.
The 2001 workers compensation premium pool for the ACT was $92 million. The 2001-02 ACT premium pool is expected to be approaching $100 million. With the pool at this level, a maximum levy of 10 per cent would generate around $10 million per year. The amendment stipulates that the regulations may not set a levy above 10 per cent of the total premiums received by each improved insurer. To ensure consistency,