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




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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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 will not obtain compensation. It is quite simple. If a person completed the form 13 years ago and their doctor says that their present condition may be related to that old injury, the TIO would require them to have a significant level o f proof before it would accept that claim. If it were rejected, they could appeal. If they cannot convince the appropriate authorities or the court that there is a relationship between the accident and their present condition, they would not obtain any compensation. If they were able to prove it within the letter o f the law, why shouldnt they receive compensation? It is my understanding that Territorians pay for MACA. It is my understanding also that the Territory makes a reasonable profit from the scheme. We are using the profits for things such as student driver education. Is this a means o f reducing costs by removing the benefit that Territorians expect from this third party insurance? Is it another means of reducing what is paid to Territorians who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents? This minister would like to remove the right o f those people to compensation. According to our amendment, the claim will be accepted only if the board considers that it is in the interests o f natural justice to do so. That will not exactly provide open slather for people to apply. Why will the minister not accept a claim when someone is able to demonstrate clearly that their condition has resulted from a motor vehicle accident that was covered by MACA? Why is he so insensitive that, if a person does not get their act together within 3 years, even though they may not have known what the problem would be, they will not be covered? Would it eat into the profits? Is that more important? Do we need to make some profit out o f MACA this year? Irrespective o f the time delay, if people are able to prove that, in the interests o f justice, their claim should be accepted, why shouldnt that occur? Mr EDE: Mr Chairman the minister is being totally unreasonable. I do not know whether he is attempting simply to be bloody-minded in this regard. He is quite happy to have a provision that states that a pay-out may be made at any time 10 or 20 years into the future, but people are not able to make claims. Talk about catch-22! This is simply a means o f ensuring that the people who have the least knowledge of the law, the people who have the least knowledge o f the English language, and the people who have the least access to justice are the people who will suffer. If you know the law, if you know your rights and if you have a good command o f English, you will not have a problem with this. If you are not in that category, you will miss out. The minister is not prepared to allow the board to recognise a situation that could give rise to a gross injustice. I believe the minister stands condemned in this regard. It is a display o f bully-boy tactics on his part and it does him no credit at all. We will persist with this amendment. Mr POOLE: Mr Chairman, I move that the question be put. The committee divided: Ayes 16 Noes 7 Mr Adamson Mr Baldwin Mrs Braham Mr Bailey Mr Bell Mr Ede 1842

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