(Extension of time granted) . . Page.. 904 ..
It is exactly the same situation today with ACTEW. We are entering a new phase of competition that we must be prepared for now. Just as it was necessary for Totalcare to corporatise because of the need for greater efficiency and to be competitive in 1991, it is necessary to corporatise ACTEW on 1 July this year because of new competition from corporatised Pacific Power of New South Wales and other corporatised electricity providers. Will Mr Connolly now support corporatisation of ACTEW, as circumstances have changed regarding competition? I believe that he should, because on 10 November 1991 he said:
ACTEW, on the other hand, is not competing with the private sector. It is a supplier of a monopoly service.
Not any longer. He also said:
It enjoys a statutory monopoly -
not any longer -
for the provision of electricity and water in this Territory ... It is a totally different organisation from this body.
He was referring to Totalcare. Not any longer. He went on:
There is no competitor.
Not any longer. Mr Speaker, the situation is about to change drastically. We are now looking at a different ball game. It is essential that we corporatise ACTEW as soon as possible. I commend this package of legislation to the Assembly and believe that the legislation should pass tonight for the benefit of not only the consumers of the ACT. (Extension of time granted) Mr Speaker, in closing, I simply say that, for the sake of the consumers of the ACT and the people who have jobs with ACTEW and who may suffer in the raids of the New South Wales competitor, I commend the legislation and look forward to the support of even Mr Connolly for this legislation.
MR OSBORNE (9.02): Mr Speaker, I said at the start of the debate on this issue some weeks ago that I was not against corporatisation, nor was I necessarily for it. It was then up to the Minister, Mr De Domenico, to convince me, so that I could then tell the people who live in Brindabella that they would be better off each day from then on with a corporatised ACTEW and it would be - - -
Mr Berry: What did he say? Did he say, “I do not know; I do not care.”?
MR OSBORNE: To be quite frank, Mr Speaker, until yesterday I was unsure. As late as yesterday afternoon I had a conversation with Mr Berry and said, “Let us knock it on the head”. I have listened to the Liberal ideology about corporatisation and I have also listened to the Labor ideology about corporatisation and - surprise, surprise! - they differ; but the bottom line, Mr Speaker, was that I needed to be convinced.