Page 871 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 20 March 2012

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This responsibility was met with the introduction of chapter 15 of the Workers Compensation Act 1951. This chapter gives the government power to establish a temporary reinsurance fund, a fund which would come into existence following an act of terrorism in the ACT to ensure the efficient and effective operation of the private sector workers compensation scheme.

The Workers Compensation (Terrorism) Amendment Bill 2012 recognises that the threat of terrorism, and the impact such an event would have on our community, continues. The amendment bill recognises this ongoing threat by removing any time-based limitation on the operation of chapter 15. Practically, the amendments provide government with enduring power to establish a temporary reinsurance fund following an act or acts of terrorism which occur now and into the future.

Importantly, any reinsurance fund established under chapter 15 would be of a temporary nature. The amendment bill does not require that any fund established be maintained for all time but rather that it be maintained for such time as required to respond to and resolve any related compensation claims.

As is currently the case, the money contributed to any temporary reinsurance fund is in part made up of levies paid by insurers and any contributions made by the territory to the fund. The amendment bill requires that government review payments out of any temporary fund within 10 years of its establishment. This amendment will ensure that any territory money contributed to the fund is not held in perpetuity while allowing sufficient time for claims on the fund to be made and resolved.

The amendment bill will ensure that the workers compensation scheme is able to provide timely protection, care and support to territory workers injured as a result of a terrorist incident. I commend this bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Long Service Leave (Portable Schemes) Amendment Bill 2011

Debate resumed from 8 December 2011, on motion by Dr Bourke:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (11.41): The Canberra Liberals have a longstanding position of not being in support of portable long service leave schemes because, for the most part, they undermine the whole notion of long service leave. However, that being said, there are portable long service leave schemes in the ACT, and we will be supporting these amendments in this bill.

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