Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 3720 ..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
Mr Speaker, in my introduction speech on this bill, I indicated that the current ACT legislation regulating corporate societies was made more than 60 years ago. While it has been amended from time to time, the resultant patchwork law no longer serves the people of the ACT well. The existing act has gradually fallen into general disuse. Very few local cooperatives still exist. There have been a number of attempts in the past few years to pass new ACT legislation, based on a model developed some time ago by other states and territories. It is hoped that the new legislation will reinvigorate this corporate model, to the benefit of the community and business groups alike.
As a result of comments by the scrutiny of bills committee and meetings of officers, the government will be moving a number of minor amendments to the bill. In particular, as a result of scrutiny comments, amendments will be proposed to the search powers in relation to client legal privilege, to provide for additional appeal rights to the AAT and in relation to the broad dispensing powers in the act. The government is also aware that Ms Dundas has proposed amendments and the government will be supporting those. I look forward to the Assembly's continued support in relation to this bill during the detail stage.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.
Sitting suspended from 12.28 to 2.30 pm.
Questions without notice
Tort law reform
MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Attorney-General. The AMA released its report card on state and territory tort law reform activity, which found that some jurisdictions, including the ACT, were "dragging the chain" on tort law reform. The report card stated that the ACT will "need to effect reforms consistent with those of NSW and with the Ipp panel's recommendations, and make a commitment to a long-term care scheme."
On 24 September, Minister, you criticised the recommendations of the Ipp panel, saying it had not "proceeded on the basis of an empirical assessment of the problems facing the insurance industry." Will you overcome your reluctance to embrace the recommendations of the Ipp panel, as expressed at the last sitting of the Assembly, and now fast-track tort law reform, in line with its recommendations, or will you continue to-as they put it-drag the chain on this issue?
MR STANHOPE: I thank Mr Humphries for the question. Indeed, I do not think there are many more important questions facing the community, broadly, than issues around public liability insurance. It is a major issue facing us all-and facing the community generally. There are a range of issues affecting the community and I guess, at least for