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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 19 August 2010) . . Page.. 3603 ..

Thursday, 19 August 2010

MR SPEAKER (Mr Rattenbury) took the chair at 10 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Road Transport (Third-Party Insurance) (Governance) Amendment Bill 2010

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

Title read by Clerk.

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Health and Minister for Industrial Relations) (10.01): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

This is a bill to amend the Road Transport (Third-Party Insurance) Act 2008—CTP act—to define the functions and role of the CTP regulator more clearly. In addition, the government has taken this opportunity to make a number of routine but nevertheless essential housekeeping amendments to the act.

Compulsory third-party insurance in the ACT, prior to the new scheme commencing in October 2008, operated under outdated legislation. As I have highlighted on previous occasions, it was in fact a 60-year-old scheme. It no longer served ACT motorists well nor did it provide those injured in a motor crash with the health and rehabilitation outcomes they desperately needed. Moreover, it is the overhang of claims from the old scheme that is responsible for the high premiums that motorists are currently paying. Without the reforms instituted by the new CTP act there would be no prospect of choice of CTP insurer or of lower premiums.

I am pleased to inform the Assembly that we are starting to see evidence that the new scheme is meeting the expectations of the government in providing better health and wellbeing outcomes for those injured in a motor crash, with more of the scheme costs being spent on medical and rehabilitation costs. Overall, the new scheme is on track with its focus on better outcomes for those injured in a motor crash and a fairer proposition for all motorists who are compelled to purchase compulsory third-party insurance.

The next step in fulfilling our commitment to the ACT community is to attract competition into the ACT CTP market. We acknowledge that progress on this front has been slow. However, while we have been able to reform the legislation to make the ACT market more attractive, the decision to enter the market is one for individual insurers, not the government. In a market economy the government cannot compel them to do so. I can assure members that there has been no lack of effort on our part in providing insurers with the information they need or have requested in order to facilitate their decision making.

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