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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 1 Hansard (17 February) . . Page.. 223..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

staff would be seconded to the partnership and returned to ACTEW in the event the partnership ceases at some point in the future; and, in the event that the partnership ceases, the ACT's electricity assets will revert to the ACT.

Mr Speaker, it is important to note that the TOC Act will continue to apply to ACTEW and its subsidiaries. This Bill in no way diminishes the role of this Assembly, as provided for in the TOC Act. Indeed, it will be necessary for this Assembly to approve a resolution before ACTEW or any of its subsidiaries could dispose of a main undertaking or significant asset.

In addition to providing for agreement between ACTEW and AGL, the Bill removes an uncertainty about the ownership of network facilities which had not previously been addressed by the Commonwealth prior to self-government, nor by subsequent ACT governments. ACTEW will be vested with rights that will assist it to operate, maintain or otherwise use such network facilities. This is necessary to effect the commercial reality of facilitating a partnership.

Concurrent with the introduction of the ACTEW/AGL Partnership Facilitation Bill 2000, the Government is presenting the Utilities Bill 2000 to this Assembly. This regulatory framework determines the environment within which the ACTEW/AGL partnership, in addition to other energy market competitors, will operate within the ACT.

In conclusion, Mr Speaker, the Government by pursuing the partnerships between ACTEW and AGL is taking the action that is necessary to secure the future of ACTEW and its employees and to protect the Territory's investment in ACTEW. The partnership is an exciting opportunity to create a larger and stronger utility better able to compete in the national marketplace through providing integrated services to customers, including those in the ACT. I commend the ACTEW/AGL Partnership Facilitation Bill 2000 to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Quinlan ) adjourned.


MR HUMPHRIES (Treasurer, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Community Safety) (10.41): Mr Speaker, I present the Utilities Bill 2000, together with its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

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