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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 3 Hansard (11 March) . . Page.. 1205..


Mr Quinlan: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) The Government is sympathetic to the financial circumstances of large families, particularly in terms of providing essential services such as water. In the reference issued to the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission to investigate water and wastewater pricing, I specifically requested the Commission to consider the impacts on consumers, including disadvantaged consumers, low income earners and large households, and the adequacy of the current concession program. The Commission will release its final report on 31 March 2004. The Government will take the Commission's recommendations into consideration in reviewing the concessions program.

ActewAGL-Little Johnny Howard statue

(Question No 1285)

Mr Cornwell asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

(1) Who sanctioned or approved the placement of the Little Johnny Howard statue outside ActewAGL premises in Civic and why;

(2) What criteria does ActewAGL have for placing such structures on display;

(3) Is ActewAGL prepared to accept other political artistic efforts for public display, including anti-Labor items;

(4) Which charities will obtain funds from such activities;

(5) Given that ActewAGL is currently the sole suppliers of retail electricity and gas in the A.C.T., does it have a right to be so politically partisan;

(6) In view of the large number of non-Labor voters in the A.C.T., is this action in the best taste given that ActewAGL has a monopoly over utilities supplies.

Mr Quinlan: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) ACTEW informs me that a private citizen, acting for the artist, advised ActewAGL that the statue would be positioned outside its premises and it would need to make a donation to charity to have it removed. ActewAGL did not take this as a serious threat and the CEO of ActewAGL, Mr John Mackay, subsequently agreed to make a donation of $2,000 to Koomarri.

(2) ACTEW informs me that ActewAGL does not normally put such structures on display and, therefore, has no criteria for doing so.

(3) I understand that Mr Mackay made a public apology in the Canberra Times because of the many calls and letters, both for and against, that this statue generated. ACTEW advises that it is, therefore, most unlikely that he will do this again.

(4) See the answer to question 1 above.


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