Page 30 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 12 February 2008

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It is the obligation of every lawyer who represents a client in a compulsory statutory compensation scheme to shepherd their client towards recovery, to maximise their opportunity to engage in treatment, rehabilitation and therapy and to protect their rights in relation to fair compensation for their injuries. The bill is structured to provide these pathways and that opportunity but not to permit current antediluvian practices to continue unabated.

I thank members for their contribution to this debate and for their foreshadowed support for this bill in large measure. The government has circulated some amendments, as have other members, and I look forward to contributing with members to finalising those proposals and passing this very important piece of legislation into law for the benefit of the people of the ACT.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Clauses 1 to 67, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Proposed new clauses 67A to 67H.

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) (12.09): I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name which inserts a new chapter 2A, including new clauses 67A to 67H [see schedule 1 at page 112]. I table a supplementary explanatory statement.

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (12.09): I seek leave to move amendments Nos 1 and 2 to Mr Stanhope’s amendment circulated in my name together.

Leave granted.

MR MULCAHY: I move amendments No 1 and 2 to Mr Stanhope’s amendment circulated in my name together [see schedule 2 on page 120].

I have circulated an amendment to this bill to extend the time for lodgement of a claim for early payment of medical expenses under section 67E of the bill. The section currently provides 28 days for lodgement of a claim, including medical report for the accident. As I alluded to earlier on, I have discussed this section with the Law Society of the ACT and with the Department of Treasury and I have formed the view that this time period may be insufficient for some claimants. In discussions between my office and the Department of the Treasury about this section it was made clear that this time limit has been imposed primarily as a behavioural measure to encourage the rapid lodgement of claims and discourage delays.

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