WORKERS REHABILITATION AND COMPENSATION AMENDMENT (VALIDATION) BILL 2012
Mrs ARMITAGE ( Launceston ) - Madam President, on 14 May this year I received an e mail and attachments from the workers compensation insurers, which I passed on to all the members for their information. It stated:
We understand that the Labor Party intends to introduce legislation this week that will have a severe impact on the cost of the workers compensation scheme in Tasmania. In particular, this legislation will have a retrospective impact involving significant costs. In tough economic times I am sure you will agree that the last thing employers want is a further cost burden by increased workers compensation insurance.
As indicated by you, I will not go on to the merits or otherwise of both submissions as I am sure there is merit in both, but I will read a final sentence that was further received from the workers compensation insurers group that they sent to me when I asked for some further information:
The legislation is of critical importance to the cost and sustainability of the current scheme and should not therefore be rushed into without a full understanding of the issues.
I see this as being legislation on the run. We received it on Tuesday. We received notice on Friday afternoon that this was coming up. I then went back to the workers compensation insurers and said that the matter referred to in the letter they sent me on 14 May that was so urgent on 14 May is now coming at the end of June. If it was so urgent I would have thought that the government would have found some way to get it that week as the insurers were expecting it on 14 May.
All I can say is that I do not want to make legislation on the run. I am not a lawyer either and I can see merit on both sides, in both submissions. I really would like more time, now that we have the fact sheets and the Leader's speech and the other information. The briefings we had this morning were of great use as well. I believe, as has been moved, that we should adjourn so that we have time to properly research it. I hear that there are cases before us but I am sure those cases have been there for quite some time and I would rather wait six weeks and get a good and proper outcome than rush into it and make a decision on the run.