Territory Stories

Questions Day 1 - Tuesday 18 June 2002



Questions Day 1 - Tuesday 18 June 2002

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Parliamentary Record 5


Question for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; Questions for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005




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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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QUESTIONS -Tuesday 18 June 2002 premiums and their rise; but there is simply not. We are working together with the Queensland Treasury, with their grouping scheme, in risk management seminars, so that community and not-for-profit organisations can be part of a group purchasing arrangement. Again, we are too small to do this on our own. We will be able to have more effective risk assessments in claims management with that grouping scheme. The advertisements for that will be out at the end of next week, and community and non-profit organisations will be able to fill in a form on a web site. It is happening and it will be effective. We are also doing the work to put in place complementary legislation to implement national solutions, especially for structured settlements, and some possible changes to the Trade Practices Act, particularly section 68A. The other area we are looking at is NT legal reforms. We have engaged Trowbridge Consulting, who are the national public liability consultants, to assist in developing appropriate NT tort law and legal practice reforms. There are a whole range of those, particularly having caps and thresholds on claims. It is not the large claims that are causing the rise in public liability, it is the plethora of small claims. The work is being done to look at that tort law reform, and it will be done as effectively, efficiently and quickly as possible. There are a number of things being looked at under tort law reform. Other measures for consideration include limits on legal advertising, possible taxation changes and stamp duty relief. The volunteer legislation that has been foreshadowed by the opposition is part of that tort law reform that we are looking at. These are wide-ranging measures to tackle the public liability premiums increases. We are doing that on a Territory level, but working with other states and the Commonwealth. I say again, it would be lovely to have one measure that was going to fix the problem. It is not as simple as that; it is complex. There are a whole lot of smaller measures we can put into place. We are going to do it and we are going to get it right. Department of Health and Community Services - Review Dr LEM to MEVISTER for HEALTH and COMMUNITY SERVICES In response to a question from the member for Drysdale, the minister was full of rhetoric when she announced that she is now having a review and restructure of the department. Health department employees listening to this broadcast want to know whether or not they will still have their jobs - and their current jobs, especially - once the restructure is completed. Given that the CEO, Paul Bartholomew, was sacked by yourself earlier today, what does it mean for the rest of the staff? ANSWER Madam Speaker, an interesting question from the member for Greatorex. First of all, I reiterate that there was an agreed mutual separation with Mr Bartholomew. He is a person held in respect by this side of the House and we would like that to be noted on the record. Today I announced a review, not a restructure, of the department. These are quite different things. We are looking at a whole range of things, but one of the things we are not looking at is any kind of job cuts. We are looking at making sure that the department is in the best position to implement our reform agenda. This is not about job numbers in the department, this is about getting it right so that we can move forward in the best way for Territorians and their health and wellbeing. I can be certain that the people of my department will be pleased that we are implementing this review. For some time, they have been wanting to have a review where they could have some say. In this review, there is an opportunity for every single member of staff to have input, and that will be starting from next week. This is not the kind of review that has happened in the past where people have suddenly lost jobs in hundreds. This is a different kind of thing. This is one where we want to genuinely consult and come up with a situation where we know that the health and wellbeing of Territorians is at the forefront of our minds, and where there will be improvements in Health and Community Services delivery over the next few years. Wickham Point - Environmental Report for Proposed LNG Plant Mr WOOD to MINISTER for the ENVIRONMENT Minister, a few weeks ago Phillips Petroleum released a public environmental report on its proposed 10 000 000 tonnes per annum LNG plant to be built at Wickham Point. A number of individuals and the government responded to that report. Bearing in mind that many of the details in the report were of a scientific nature and the government was one of the few bodies who would have the expertise to comment on such matters, would the government release its response to the PER so that the public could be better informed of the issues relating to this proposal? 249