Page 2726 - Week 09 - Thursday, 8 August 2013

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MS BERRY: Treasurer, what are the specific benefits of increased competition in the ACT CTP market for Canberra motorists?

MR BARR: There are three specific advantages for local motorists: choice, quality and price. Canberrans will now be able to take advantage of the whole suite of insurance products from the different providers, and certainly there is an opportunity now for Canberrans to shop around the insurance market to find the package of insurance products that best suits their needs.

In terms of quality, the new entrants have consistently represented themselves to be primarily concerned with rehabilitation and the return to health of people injured in motor vehicle accidents. In terms of competition, price competition will certainly be an important element for Canberrans. There has been a degree of commentary to date on the different pricing points and rebates that have been offered by the new entrants, but, when combined with further reform in this area, we will, I believe, be able to get significant improvements both in health outcomes for those who are unfortunately injured in motor vehicle accidents but also see some downward pressure on premiums. This is an important reform agenda for the government and one that we will continue to pursue.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Treasurer, how do these recent changes assist with Canberra’s cost of living?

MR BARR: The cost of premiums is certainly a significant concern for motorists and for the government. The current premium for an average family vehicle ranges from $598.20 with AAMI, $596.20 with APIA, $590.20 with the GIO to $572.20 with the NRMA. Effective from 15 July, the average premium across the providers was $590.70. Under our CTP law, premiums must fully fund the present and future liabilities claims. This is a basic requirement under both commonwealth and territory law.

The government has been actively seeking to control the cost of premiums for several years, and the government’s attempt last year to bring meaningful reform to this area did not succeed. A small advance was made but there was a real opportunity that was lost to reform our system.

But it is my view that there is a very strong case for a further modernisation of our scheme. And as part of the ACT’s commitment to the national disability insurance scheme, the ACT government is committed to the introduction of the national injury insurance scheme, starting on 1 July 2014. This scheme will meet the needs of those who suffer a catastrophic injury in a road crash, irrespective of fault.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Treasurer, could you tell us more about any plans for further reforms to the CTP market in Canberra?

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