Canberra drivers are getting Australia’s best deal on their motor registrations, according to the ACT’s peak lawyers’ group.
Canberra motorists will pay up to $200 more for compulsory third party insurance than drivers across the border after last month’s $52 price hike. But ACT Law Society president Noor Blumer said yesterday that ACT drivers should be pleased with the existing system.
The ACT government is preparing to try again to pass changes to the territory’s motor accident compensation scheme, but will need to secure support from either the ACT Greens or the Canberra Liberals to pass the proposed reforms
The government will try again this week, in the last Assembly sittings of this term, to get its reforms aimed at attracting competition into the market to challenge the monopoly of NRMA and put ”downward pressure” on compulsory third party insurance premiums, the largest slice of motor registration payments.
Treasurer Andrew Barr reiterated yesterday the government’s position that reform was necessary and accused the lawyers, who have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a media campaign against the changes, of acting out of self interest. But Ms Blumer told ABC Radio yesterday that the government was planning ”radical surgery” to the scheme without any guarantees of lower prices for drivers.
”I think they [Canberra drivers] are getting a great deal, for quality and value for money, they’re doing really well and they should be really pleased about that,” Ms Blumer said.
”For value for money, we’ve got the best scheme in the country and it’s not necessarily the most expensive.
”The overall value for money we get here is significant.”
Ms Blumer said that lower premiums were not guaranteed under the legislation, which was rejected by a multi-party Assembly committee this year.
”Competition in the market is something that may or may not happen,” she said.
”Even if we did get another player in the market, there’s no guarantee that costs would be cut.
”Competition for the sake of competition and with no guarantee of lower premiums, is not a good deal for us.”
But Mr Barr said he would push ahead with the bill in the Assembly, probably on Thursday. ”There’s no magic pudding here,” he said.
”You can’t have a situation in a jurisdiction this size with the numbers of insured vehicles here that you can have the lowest premiums in the country and a situation where it’s a lawyers’ bonanza.
”In the race of life, always back the horse called self interest and we’re seeing plenty of that from the Law Society.”