Page 3911 - Week 12 - Thursday, 20 October 2005

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Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak) adjourned to the next sitting.

Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2005 (No 3)

Mr Stanhope, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Arts, Heritage and Indigenous Affairs) (10.38): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, the Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2005 (No 3) is the fourteenth bill in a series of bills dealing with legislation within the justice and community safety portfolio. The bill makes a number of minor and technical amendments to portfolio legislation. The amendments are as follows.

The Civil Law (Wrongs) Act 2002 requires insurers to provide, in relation to the ACT insurance market, annual returns indicating the quantum of premiums taken, claims made, claims paid and claims refused. I am required under section 205 of the act to present to the ACT Legislative Assembly a report about key findings arising from the annual returns given to me by insurers before 31 October of each year. To take account of possible irregularities in Assembly sitting days, this amendment changes this formulation to require tabling of the report within five Legislative Assembly sitting days from 1 October.

Following recent reforms to the Civil Law (Wrongs) Act 2002 dealing with workers compensation claims under part 5.2 of the act, the act is further amended to ensure that the pre-claim procedure requirements apply to a claim for damages against a respondent who is not an employer or third party insurer. This could occur in a situation where the potential respondent to a common law claim was, for example, the occupier of premises and the claim was a public liability claim. In these circumstances, it is appropriate for notice to be given to such a respondent in accordance with claims procedures. To avoid unnecessary costs on claimants, the bill also amends the Civil Law (Wrongs) Act 2002 to exclude the application of other onerous obligations from workers compensation claims where the claimant would be duplicating procedures.

The next amendment relates to the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) (Enforcement) Act 1995. This amendment updates the offences that are exempt from the operation of section 64 of the act, which deals with the timing of a prosecution of an offence.

The Consumer Credit Act 1995 and the Consumer Credit Regulation 1996 have been amended to state that in working out a maximum annual percentage rate in a credit contract, regardless of whether the contract is for short-term or long-term credit, all

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