Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 11 Hansard (30 November) . . Page.. 3563..
MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (5.13): When they were raised earlier, I indicated that the government did not have any objections to Ms Tucker's views and her amendments. Since then I have spoken with the commissioner and, as Mr Corbell has said, the commissioner sees this bill as a reasonable way in which to go forward. If it proves to be unworkable in the future, then the option to come back and change it is always there, but I think it is workable and will give the Assembly the opportunity to scrutinise the report of the commissioner for the environment before each election.
It is important that we get this right. The alignment with councils in New South Wales is very important. What we need to do today is pass the government's bill, and if it does not prove to be adequate then of course we can always amend it. The government will not support Ms Tucker's amendments and will go with its own bill instead.
Bill, as a whole, agreed to.
Bill agreed to.
Debate resumed from 17 February 2000, on motion by Mr Humphries:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
MR SPEAKER: Is it the wish of the Assembly to debate this bill concurrently with the Utilities (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2000, the Gas Safety Bill 2000, the Water and Sewerage Bill 2000 and the Electricity Amendment Bill 2000? There being no objection, that course will be followed. I remind members that in debating Executive business order of the day No 4 they may also address their remarks to Executive business orders of the day 5 to 8.
MR CORBELL (5.15): This package of utilities bills comprises important bills in providing an effective regulatory regime under the new competitive framework for the delivery of gas, electricity, water and sewerage services in the ACT. The issue of better utilities legislation was originally flagged by this government when it attempted to sell Actew as a whole and completely privatise that organisation.
At the time, the Labor Party raised concern about the linking of the utilities legislation with any debate about the sale of Actew. Since that time, much water has passed under the bridge. The ActewAGL company has been established, but it is only now that we are dealing with the new regulatory regime for both that company and other utility providers that are already in the ACT or will shortly arrive in the ACT.