Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 23 November 1994



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 23 November 1994

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Parliamentary Record 6


Debates for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997




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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Wednesday 23 November 1994 Mr POOLE: We will not accept the amendment. The government believes this is quite a reasonable provision to add to the legislation. It has proven to be reasonable in Tasmania and Victoria and there is no reason why it will not be reasonable here. There is an opportunity for the government or for the TIO to provide an ex gratia payment, if need be, in the interests o f natural justice. The advice that I have received is th a t ... Mr Ede: That has nothing to do with it. Mr POOLE: ... there is no point in accepting this weasel clause. We will not accept it and that is the end o f the story. Mr Ede: What is the effect o f this amendment on section 33? M r POOLE: M r Chairman, section 33 applies only to the payment o f benefits under parts 3, 4 or 5. It does not apply to part 7. Mr EDE: Are you saying that any claim under parts 3, 4 or 5 is okay? Part 5 relates to payments in respect o f death and part 4 to payments in respect o f injury. You have no problem with extending the time limits in those regards. Part 3 relates to entitlements to benefits and you have no problems with extending the limit in that regard. However, it is not okay to extend them if it is a miscellaneous matter. Would the minister care to add to his explanation? Mr POOLE: Not really, but I will say that what you are talking about is the payment o f benefits for claims that have been accepted. That is all. Mr BAILEY: The minister said previously that the government will still have the opportunity to make ex gratia payments. As I understand it, we are arguing about whether a person may lodge a claim. I cannot imagine how an ex gratia payment could be made without a claim having been lodged. A complication may develop from what might have been regarded as a minor injury at the time. If that person has not made a claim within the 3-year period, they cannot obtain an ex gratia payment without making a claim. It is a catch-22 situation. Unfortunately, the minister is legislating that a person may not lodge a claim after 3 years. His logic is that it is a very good amendment because Tasmania and Victoria have introduced it and do not have any real problems with it. I understand that our act works quite well and that this is not a major problem. M r Poole: It is when you have claims that are 13 years old. M r BAILEY: It would be interesting to hear the minister explain a particular case that this will cover. When this is enacted, it will not be retrospective. It will not affect this 13-year-old claim. It will apply only to claims that are lodged after today. Does it apply only to accidents from now on, or to accidents that happened 3 years ago but for which claims have not been lodged? Either way, it will be some time before it has an impact on people who realise that they cannot make claims. Is the minister able to demonstrate that the TIO has had major problems with cases that are more than 3-years-old? If a person makes such a claim, the onus will be largely on them to prove that their claim is valid. I f they cannot prove that their claim is valid, they 1841