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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 6 Hansard (5 June) . . Page.. 1826..

This increase is to make sure that financial penalties imposed by the court for regulatory offences in the ACT, particularly where corporations are involved, keep pace with the real value of money. The increase reflects similar increases to other fees as part of the 2014-15 budget and also reflects the general increase in the cost of government administration of penalties. The bill will roughly align the value of a penalty unit in the ACT with the increased penalty unit values in Victoria and the Northern Territory for the 2014-15 financial year.

The increase in the monetary value of a penalty unit will not be retrospective. This means that the penalty unit amount for offences or current proceedings for offences which occurred before the date of its implementation will not be affected by the increase. Increasing the value of a penalty unit will mean that this new value will be applied to all court imposed fines and infringement notice schemes that are made or remade after the new penalty unit value applies.

I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Hanson) adjourned to the next sitting.

Utilities (Technical Regulation) Bill 2014

Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations and Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development) (10.55): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The availability of clean water, a sewerage system and a safe and reliable electricity and gas supply is something we take for granted as a community.

The ACT has over 3,000 kilometres of sewer mains, with 27 pump stations. The drinking water network is also over 3,000 kilometres long, with 45 service reservoirs, 14 water management areas and three main dams. The electricity distribution network alone includes over 4,900 kilometres of high and low voltage mains lines, over 53,000 poles and over 3,200 transformers, serving more than 173,000 customers. The high voltage transmission network that delivers power to the distribution network is now over 100 kilometres long. The gas network has over 4,000 kilometres of piping and over 100,000 meters. These electricity assets were worth $645 million in 2012 and water assets were valued at more than $2 billion in 2013.

These networks are growing every day and everyone in the ACT relies on these services in one way or another. Electricity, gas and other forms of energy carry inherent life safety risks. The universal availability of clean water and effective sewerage is fundamental for public health and to prevent the spread of disease. The

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