Page 938 - Week 03 - Thursday, 10 April 2014

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Planning, Environment and Territory and Municipal Services—Standing Committee—ACT Centenary 2020 Vision Parliament of Youth Sustainability—White paper—How should Canberra change by 2020 to meet its ambitious carbon emission targets and become more sustainable? dated November 2013.

Executive business—precedence

Ordered that executive business be called on.

Lifetime Care and Support (Catastrophic Injuries) Bill 2014

Debate resumed from 27 February 2014, on motion by Mr Barr:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (11.24): The Liberal Party will be supporting this bill today. Indeed, it is something I have been calling for for some time. I welcome its arrival. Those who are injured in motor vehicle crashes and who receive catastrophic injuries certainly deserve an easier path to care and treatment. They certainly deserve certainty that they will have that treatment available to them for the rest of their lives. It is a long time coming and has been the subject of a number of inquiries. I believe there are a couple of recommendations that suggested we have such a scheme.

I would start by thanking the minister and his staff for the briefing. I would also thank the minister for circulating his amendments early so that we could have a look at them.

I note, from the bill’s explanatory statement and from the briefings that we received, with this bill the government has put forward the following elements: it establishes the role of the LTCSC, the Lifetime Care and Support Commissioner, to manage and administer the scheme in the ACT. The bill is to respond to the reasonable and necessary treatment and care expenses of participants in the scheme, and these will include things such as medical treatment, rehabilitation, attendant care services and, if required, home and transport modifications. The bill, when passed, will make a person eligible to participate in the LTCS scheme if the person has suffered a motor accident injury that satisfies the eligibility criteria set out in section 15 and the LTCS guidelines issued by the LTCS Commissioner.

Participation in the scheme is either as an interim participant or as a lifetime participant. All participants will be interim participants for two years or until such time as they are accepted as a lifetime participant. An application for participation in the scheme can be made on behalf of the injured person or by an insurer for a motor crash claim in respect of the injury. A person will not be eligible to participate in the scheme if the person has been awarded common law damages for their treatment and care needs, and participation in the scheme will mean that a person’s treatment and care needs will be met by the scheme and will not be recoverable as damages.

The EM goes on to say that funding for the LTCS scheme will be provided by way of a special levy akin to a premium amount to be paid by the persons who pay a CTP

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