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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 6 Hansard (22 June) . . Page.. 2314..


Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission

Paper and statement by minister

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism and Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming): Mr Speaker, for the information of members, I present the following paper:

Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission-Report 9 of 2004-Final report-Review of contestable electricity infrastructure works, dated 28 April 2004.

I ask for leave to make a statement.

Leave granted.

MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, the government is committed to the protection of ACT consumers and to the provision of reliable and robust electricity services to all Canberrans. In July 2003 I issued a reference under section 15 of the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission Act for the ICRC to determine whether there was "a net benefit to the community as a whole"in introducing competition to the provision of electricity distribution infrastructure works in greenfield developments.

These works, which involve the design and construction of electricity cabling and substation infrastructure in new suburbs, have been undertaken by the licensed distributor provider ActewAGL and its contractors. The ICRC completed its investigations and produced a report on 28 April 2004. In summary, the ICRC is recommending a phased introduction to contestability of work to be undertaken by providers other than the licensed distributor.

While the report adequately addresses the theoretical basis of increased competition, I am concerned that it goes beyond its terms of reference and this obscured the original question referred to it. I have asked my department to review the report and available data to determine whether or not there is a net public benefit in introducing competition into the greenfield electricity infrastructure market and to advise me further on this important matter. With the consent of the Assembly, I hereby table the ICRC report. I will shortly advise the Assembly of my decision on this report's recommendations.

Paper

Mr Quinlan presented the following paper:

Australian Capital Tourism Corporation Act, pursuant to subsection 28 (3)-Australian Capital Tourism Corporation-Quarterly report-January to March 2004.

Planning and Environment-Standing Committee

Report 24-government response

MR WOOD (Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for


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