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Monday, 21 March 2011
Page: 1347

Senator XENOPHON (5:28 PM) —I have just provided Senator Parry with a copy of the letter I received from the Prime Minister’s office in relation to this particular legislation. It is undated, but I believe it was received on 3 March. It says, ‘The government will ensure that the process set out in the attachment to this letter’—the process being the guidelines in identical format—’will become a guideline to the NDRRA and that the provision will have a continuing application.’ I seek leave to table that document which is a true copy of the original.

Leave granted.

Senator XENOPHON —I am grateful to the minister for tabling the document. I think that this deals satisfactorily with the concerns that I have raised about insurance arrangements with the states. I think there will now be a fundamental change in the way that the states need to consider the insurance of their assets. I have supported this levy, but I have done so on the basis that I believe that as a result of these new arrangements I cannot imagine circumstances in which a levy would be required again, given that there will now be a rigorous set of arrangements to ensure that the states do the right thing regarding their assets. This would generally involve some form of insurance or reinsurance, or taking other prudential steps, for their assets in the event of a natural disaster.