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Thursday, 13 October 2016
Page: 1867


Mr TAYLOR (HumeAssistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation) (10:59): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The Seafarers Safety and Compensation Levies Bill 2016 forms part of the government's commitment to modernise the Commonwealth Seacare scheme. It replaces the Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation Levy Act 1992 (Levy Act).

The bill imposes a seafarers' insurance levy on Seacare employers. The seafarers' insurance levy will support a safety net fund for seafarers where an employer cannot meet its workers' compensation obligations because of financial circumstances. It is unchanged from the levy collected under the current Levy Act.

The levy will initially be set at the same rate as the current safety net fund levy. In future, the levy rate will be based on recommendations of an actuarial assessment on the amounts payable from the safety net fund and the costs of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (Commission) in administering the fund.

Consistent with the government's modernisation of the Seacare scheme, this bill modernises the arrangements for funding the scheme's regulatory bodies by providing a mechanism for a seafarers cost recovery levy.

The seafarers cost recovery levy would recover the costs of the Commission, Comcare and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority in performing their respective regulatory functions in relation to the Seacare scheme.

The levy will not be charged immediately. The government will consult further with Seacare employers on the timing for charging the cost recovery levy. Levy amounts will be set by regulations.

Debate adjourned.