Page 1497 - Week 06 - Thursday, 2 July 2020

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MR BARR: I will take the question, as it is principally a treasury matter. The ACT does have sufficient funds as a self-insuring entity. What we are in ongoing discussion with Comcare in relation to is that the territory has in fact paid more, over quite an extensive period, into the Comcare scheme than we have withdrawn in terms of workers compensation entitlements for our own workers. What the territory is seeking to do is to not subsidise commonwealth public servants through the Comcare scheme. We are negotiating with Comcare, as we have withdrawn from that scheme and become a self-insurer.

The ACT has ample resources and Comcare of course recognise that they owe us a significant amount of money. All we are doing now is finalising, through a formal process, exactly how much money that will be. All this is referred to in the Auditor-General’s report, including in the commentary. If you went beyond just reading the media headline, you would know this. The ACT remains firmly and clearly able to meet all of its obligations and we are finalising negotiations for Comcare to make a significant payment to the ACT. What we do not want is ACT taxpayers cross-subsidising and financing commonwealth workers compensation responsibilities.

MR HANSON: Minister, are there any risks that have been identified in meeting the liabilities and when is the commonwealth likely to make that payment to which you referred?

MR BARR: The advice to me is none, but as a self-insurer we take on those responsibilities. That is what self-insurance requires. The process has been ongoing and is nearing finalisation. I do not have an exact date. If I knew the exact date then that would have obviously been part of the Auditor-General’s report. It is close to finalisation, but what I need to be clear about is that the territory is going to stand up for its rights in this regard and we are not going to be ripped off by the commonwealth.

MR WALL: Treasurer, who is painting the correct picture? Is it the account that you are telling us or the account that the Auditor-General has painted as to whether or not there are sufficient resources for workers compensation?

MR BARR: Our account, because we are the ones responsible.

Waste—bulky waste collection

MR MILLIGAN: My question is to the Minister for City Services. Bulky waste collection bookings opened yesterday for Gungahlin and Tuggeranong residents. However, they are both already booked out until December this year, with no more booking times available online. Minister, how long will Gungahlin and Tuggeranong residents have to wait before they can take out their bulky waste?

MR STEEL: I thank Mr Milligan for his question. I note that this is a very popular scheme that the government has introduced for bulky waste collection. That is why we have chosen to roll it out in two regions, with other regions in Canberra to follow—to make sure that the scheme is sustainable and to make sure that we can

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