Page 993 - Week 03 - Thursday, 10 April 2014

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Clause 62.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (4.20): I move amendment No 9 circulated in my name [see schedule 1 at page 1007].

This is to insert a note that a decision under section 3 is a reviewable decision. Again, I point members to the two reports from the reviews of the Lifetime Care & Support Authority and Lifetime Care and Support Advisory Council done by the Legislative Council of New South Wales.

In the 2008 report, there were only two recommendations, the second of which was this:

That the Lifetime Care and Support Authority, in liaison with the Lifetime Care and Support Advisory Council, formally consider the range of options for independent review of decisions and the provision of independent advice and advocacy in respect of applicants, interim participants and lifetime participants in the Lifetime Care and Support Scheme. This should include the development of recommendations as to the desirability of and the most appropriate mechanisms for each.

That was in 2008. In 2011, recommendation 5 from another review was this:

That the Lifetime Care and Support Authority work with the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Directorate and other stakeholders to examine the feasibility of a more robust and independent dispute resolution process for disputes concerning eligibility and treatment.

I see a pattern here. There is another review, as legislated, being done now. They had hearings in March; we have not got the report from the committee yet. But what we see is from two different committees, one in 2011 and one in 2008. I understand that both were tripartisan. Both committees suggested that there needs to be an independent review. It is quite surprising that over that period of time you would get almost the same recommendation from two different committees in two different New South Wales parliaments. Perhaps there is a pattern here. I suspect we will be back here to rectify this in the short term.

It is important that people have access to justice and dispute resolution that is not controlled by the body that they have the dispute with or are in contention with. When we see two reports, three years apart, from different parliaments, from tripartisan committees, perhaps we should take note of what they say.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for Tourism and Events and Minister for Community Services) (4.22): Before lunch I outlined that the government would not be supporting the series of amendments that includes this amendment 9 and also amendments 11 and 13, which are of similar nature. We will, I think, however, find that there is agreement on amendment 12, which is coming up shortly.

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