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I will reiterate some of the amendments we feel should be considered by this Assembly but cannot be considered in the present timeframe. These include entrenchment of consumer rights along the lines of the consumer contract that is provided for in the Sydney Water Board, setting environmental targets, community consultation processes, and assurance that ACTEW will get involved in providing energy services in the broader sense. There is also no actual requirement in the Bills that the Government establish a body for independent pricing. We have a rather bland, uninspirational and potentially dangerous piece of legislation that does not have adequate accountability mechanisms built in or anything strong about the environmental community service obligations of ACTEW. As the legislation stands, these obligations will be made explicit only in the statement of corporate intent and so are subject to the whims of the shareholders and not even reviewed by the Assembly.
Mr Speaker, when we are presented with an opportunity for reform, members of this Assembly should act responsibly and cautiously. It is bad process to pass legislation and then go back to see how it could have been better, and it costs the community more in the long run. It is appalling that other members have not acted to ensure that we get it right first, in consultation with the community, and it is to the shame of the Liberals and of Mr Moore and Mr Osborne that we have let this opportunity go.
MR BERRY (8.04): Mr Speaker, I suppose members will expect to hear over and over again about the error of their ways.
Mr Moore: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, I would draw to your attention Mr Berry’s indication that he will breach standing order 52, I think it is - tedious repetition - because he is saying that members will expect to hear something over and over. That would not be appropriate at all, Mr Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: I am sure that Mr Berry is not going to breach standing orders by indulging in repetition, tedious or otherwise.
MR BERRY: As the evening goes on, I am sure that they will also find tedious Mr Moore's smart alec interjections and points of order; but that is something we have all grown used to over the years.
This issue, as other members have pointed out, is about a sensible approach that meets the needs of the community. It is about demonstrating, as far as the Government is concerned, that there is a need to go down the path their proposed legislation seeks to pursue. The Minister in this case - he is certainly not by himself - and indeed the Chief Minister seem incapable of making out a case as to why this Bill should pass through the Assembly and that there is dire need for it. You can hear all the rhetoric, the honeyed claims, about what this will achieve; but it is all based on the old ideology which gave rise to the continued claims throughout the last term of this Assembly. These days, this is rather old fashioned. It seems as though the Independents, regrettably, have climbed on the band wagon of the Liberals on this issue. Who knows what the price was?