Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 4452 ..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
people. The Taskforce's work will commence with the collection of relevant data and analysis of the nature of the problem, and a report will be prepared for the Public Liability Insurance Ministerial Group by March 2003.
Mr Speaker, COAG noted that Commonwealth, State and Territory Treasurers would continue to monitor the effectiveness of reform measures in expanding access to, and improving the affordability of, public liability and professional indemnity insurance. State and Territory governments have agreed to continue tort law reforms and to maintain indemnities for doctors working in public hospitals and existing support measures for doctors in rural areas.
In the ACT, we are addressing medical malpractice issues through Stage 2 of the Civil Law (Wrongs) Act 2002.
COAG noted the Commonwealth's proposed scheme to provide reinsurance cover for terrorism risk on commercial property and infrastructure facilities, including local government-owned assets. States and Territories agreed to consider the Commonwealth's proposal to participate in the terrorism insurance scheme, subject to further discussions on the details of this participation including financial contributions sought.
COAG also noted progress on water reform in all jurisdictions, and reaffirmed commitment to those reforms as set out in the 1995 National Competition Policy Agreement. The national principles on water allocation and entitlements developed by the Chief Executive Officers' Group on Water were seen as broadly consistent with the 1995 Agreement. COAG agreed to the Release of the Chief Executive Officers' Group proposals for consultation with key stakeholders. The report is to be finalised by April 2003.
Mr Speaker, the ACT Government has a strong commitment to water resource policies that minimise the impact on the Murrumbidgee River system. We will work with other jurisdictions to that end.
COAG members continue to be concerned about the incidence and impacts of child abuse in the Australian community, despite the on-going efforts of governments. Victims of child abuse experience poorer mental and physical health, poorer educational and employment outcomes, and higher levels of contact with the criminal justice system over their lifetime. Indigenous children are significantly overrepresented in the child protection system. Ultimately, the whole community bears the consequences.
COAG noted the shared responsibility between the Commonwealth, States and Territories for indigenous issues and agreed that there should be an increased national focus on indigenous child protection issues to complement the COAG reconciliation framework. COAG requested a report from Senior Officials on the issue by April 2003. The report will consider ways to enhance responsiveness to indigenous families at risk and in crisis, improve outcomes for indigenous children, and address causal factors behind abuse.
COAG members also agreed to discuss the findings of the Reassessment of Indigenous Participation in the Development of Commonwealth Policies and Programmes (ATSIC review), at the next COAG meeting.