Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 12 February 2008) . . Page.. 22 ..
Overall, I emphasise that we look forward to seeing how this scheme performs in the ACT context.
In regard to the government’s amendments, I note that we received very late advice of the government’s amendments to this bill. In general terms, the amendments are acceptable. It is particularly pleasing to see the demise of the proposed civil penalty and censure committee referred to in clause 191. Use of this rather Stalinist-style committee has been replaced by the reference of relevant matters to the Consumer and Trader Tribunal that is already established by ACT legislation and that seems a better place for it to be dealt with.
I have raised relatively minor issues on a couple of matters and we will take those up in amendments.
MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Minister for the Environment, Water and Climate Change, Minister for the Arts) (11.40): In general terms, insurance is, as I am sure everybody is aware, very much like having a rich uncle who visits regularly and expects dinner: one hopes to derive some inheritance or benefit out of the relationship before being eaten out of house and home. However, of course, one always has the option of extending the invitation or not.
Compulsory statutory insurance is somewhat different, in the sense that one always knows that the uncle or relative is coming, that he will never die and that you have no choice but to feed him, but that the essential cost of the dinner is reasonable and affordable. The ACT compulsory third-party insurance scheme was a legacy of the time before self-government. The scheme was untouched for 60 years.
Dr Foskey: Mr Acting Speaker—
MR STANHOPE: If Dr Foskey wishes to speak, I am happy to relinquish this spot and start again. Is that possible? Anything is possible. Ignore everything I have said.
DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (11.41): I thank the Chief Minister for that. I seek leave to speak on the in-principle stage of this bill.
DR FOSKEY: I thank the Assembly. In the amendment warfare, I was absent from the room at the relevant moment; my apologies for that.
One of the wider contexts of this legislation is the distinction between the traditional, fault-based third-party compensation schemes run by insurance companies in Queensland and New South Wales and the no-fault schemes in Tasmania and Victoria. The broad differences between the two approaches apply to compensation for all kinds of physical injury, not just car accidents. While fault-based, or tort liability, schemes highlight issues of negligence and put pressure on people to accept responsibility for their actions—and injury rates have been said to increase under no-fault regimes—the costs are higher. More importantly, some people miss out