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Thursday, 5 December 2002
Page: 7317

Senator SHERRY (5:15 PM) —I indicate that the Labor Party, after a lot of thought and consultation, will not support this amendment. We have concluded that we do not wish to see an extension of the guarantee period for the annuity payment. As I noted in my second reading contribution, it is important to strike a responsible balance between the competing interests in this matter—the interests of the injured persons, ensuring that they receive adequate compensation for the rest of their lives must be safeguarded; however, there is also a legitimate public interest in containing costs for the defendant's insurers in order to help ensure that continuing downward pressure is placed on insurance premiums. Our understanding is that the 10-year condition in the bill is a compromise between those interests, reached in the consultations on the bill. In the absence of compelling evidence following the consultations we have undertaken, we are not inclined to revisit the compromise figure that has been reached after a lot of discussion.

Question negatived.