Page 3644 - Week 08 - Friday, 24 August 2012

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Road Transport (Third-Party Insurance) Amendment Bill 2011

Detail stage

Clause 1 agreed to.

Clause 2.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation) (5.13): I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name [see schedule 1 at page 3683].

I also table a supplementary explanatory statement to the government amendments.

This amendment alters the commencement date of the act to 1 January 2013. It will allow time for the necessary administrative arrangements to be made prior to the commencement.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (5.14): Mr Assistant Speaker, I ask that the Assembly might suspend for five minutes. I understand that work is still being done on the last few amendments. They are currently with the secretariat. I believe it might be the will of the house that we just take a brief pause to enable that administrative process to be finalised.

At 5.14 pm, the sitting was suspended until the ringing of the bells.

The bells having been rung, Mr Speaker resumed the chair at 5.28 pm.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause 2, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 3.

MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Leader, ACT Greens) (5.29): I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name [see schedule 4 at page 3686].

Greens amendments Nos 1, 7, 8 and 14 to 28 all relate to the effective omission of clause 22. Clause 22 is a controversial part of the bill. It is a clause that covers the proposed new discount rate at the 15 per cent whole person impairment threshold. For convenience I will speak to that issue now and hopefully that will facilitate the easier debate of that issue and we can get through the consequential amendments a bit more easily.

As I said in the in-principle debate, the Greens cannot agree with those changes because we think they unfairly limit injured persons’ rights to compensation. We do not agree that there should be essentially an arbitrary threshold that a person either falls above or below, and that happenstance has an enormous impact on the amount of damages they can receive. I do not believe that, if the proposed scheme were in place and you asked anyone who had been in an accident if they could go back in time and

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