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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 7 Hansard (5 June) . . Page.. 2652..

not be required to do anything to maintain the continuity of their supply. Rights, benefits and prices acquired on those contracts will be preserved and continued. Similarly, retailers that already hold licences in the ACT under the Utilities Act will be transitioned to holding national retailer authorisations under the national law.

Finally, and importantly, while this legislation adopts the national framework, it also preserves and continues requirements we hold important in the ACT. This includes regulation of electricity prices for small customers and the mandatory green power first offer requirement.

In conclusion, the NECF and this bill are the outcome of an extensive interjurisdictional development process and comprehensive local and national consultation. The bill enjoys strong support from all ACT and national stakeholders. It will deliver consumer benefits, greater competition and improved economic benefit to the territory. It is a real and important national reform, and I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Bill, by leave, taken as a whole.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (4.36), by leave: I move amendments Nos 1 to 4 circulated in my name together [see schedule 2 at page 2658].

As I flagged in the in-principle phase, these amendments are not about the policy of this legislation and the national energy reforms but, rather, the manner in which these national frameworks are agreed to, the manner in which they are rolled out and the role of state and territory governments in that context. The Greens have a set of concerns around how amendment to legislation such as this takes place, what role the Assembly has in assessing those amendments and what information is available to the community about those amendments. We are concerned that, the way the legislation is set up, amendments can essentially be made to a package of legislation such as this without any scrutiny by the Assembly and without the ACT community potentially receiving information on it.

To that end, I have moved four specific amendments, and I will speak to each of them. Amendment No 1 ensures that the Assembly continues to have ultimate responsibility for the laws that apply to Canberrans. Our function as the legislature is to make laws in the best interests of people of the territory. It is simply not appropriate for us to delegate this function not just to our executive but to other jurisdictions' executives over which we have no control. There is no doubt that there is a place for national laws and that it is desirable for there to be a uniform system across the federation. In the context of energy generation, distribution and retail sale by participants in a national grid, it especially makes sense.

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