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Wednesday, 24 June 2009
Page: 6954

Ms ROXON (Minister for Health and Ageing) (9:55 AM) —I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The scheme established by this bill will ensure that professional indemnity insurance protection extends to eligible midwives once they have ceased to practise.

The purpose of the Midwife Professional Indemnity (Run-off Cover Support Payment) Bill 2009 is to impose a tax—the run-off cover scheme, or ROCS, support payment.

This tax will apply to premium payments for professional indemnity insurance by eligible midwives and will help to cover the costs of run-off cover claims against their colleagues who cease to practise due to retirement, disability or maternity.

The government will commit $5 million in 2010-11 to assist in covering such claims in the period before sufficient funds are accumulated through the ongoing contribution of ROCS support payments.

The bill provides that the rate of ROCS support payments must not exceed 15 per cent.

The actual rate will be set through rules detailed in a legislative instrument that will be tabled in parliament.

It is expected that the actual rate will be initially set, on the advice of the Australian Government Actuary, at 10 per cent of premiums.

This is the rate at which ROCS contributions started in the initial years of the Run-off Cover Scheme for doctors.

Debate (on motion by Mr Wood) adjourned.