Page 2725 - Week 09 - Thursday, 8 August 2013
MS GALLAGHER: I reject the question outright; I think the public service does lead. Go and visit some of the places where people who have a disability are working in the ACT government. They are enjoying opportunities they would not necessarily enjoy in the private sector. I know work is being done to encourage employment in the private sector with payroll tax amendments that will be introduced to encourage that, and we look forward to the private sector following our lead. The ACT government leads the way. I imagine the commonwealth is there as well, but the public sector leads the way. It always has and it always will.
MS BERRY: My question is to the Treasurer. Can the Treasurer please advise what have been the recent changes in the compulsory third-party insurance market in the ACT which have increased competition?
MR BARR: I thank Ms Berry for the question. I am sure that members would be aware that there have been some significant changes in the ACT’s compulsory third-party insurance market. On 15 July, three new brands began offering CTP insurance in the territory—AAMI, Apia and GIO. They join the NRMA, which until this date had been the only CTP provider in the territory.
AAMI, Apia and GIO were each granted licences effective from 1 July 2013 to offer CTP insurance to ACT motorists. I can advise members that it is the first time since 1979 that territory motorists have had a choice of CTP provider. Motor vehicle registration renewal notices will now include information about a range of CTP providers. There is no doubt that the introduction of competition brings the obvious benefit of choice for Canberra motorists.
Competition will also offer greater opportunities for innovative insurance products, more investment and employment in the territory and, I think perhaps most importantly, Madam Speaker, new thinking about how people injured in a motor vehicle accident might be rehabilitated and returned to health. The new insurers have developed a reputation in other jurisdictions for providing injured people with more direct pathways to rehabilitation.
I understand, and there has been a fairly aggressive marketing campaign to date, that they are also offering rebates on their premiums to certain categories of drivers, which is a great cost of living benefit to many local motorists.
The government remains committed to further reform of the CTP sector. I am confident that the, albeit limited, reform that has occurred in recent years has been instrumental in bringing competition to the ACT marketplace but further reform is required to put more downward pressure on CTP premiums in the territory. The arrival of new insurers is great news for local motorists. I am pleased that this development has eventuated but there is still a pressing need for further reform in this area.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Berry.