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which took on board what we were seeking to do and ran with it with more flexibility. In a corporate structure they will be able to run even harder. Part of the reason for that, Mr Speaker, is self-concept. That is the driving force behind why I see it as appropriate to move towards this corporatisation.

Mr Speaker, a number of amendments will be moved from different places in the house. I can see some members standing up and saying that there is an impossible number of amendments and it will be difficult to handle them. On the contrary, we have what strikes me as a fairly average number of amendments for a Bill of this importance. Certainly, those prepared by the Greens, by Mr Osborne and by Mr Whitecross are significant. Some of them I disagree with. That is fine. Some of the amendments put by Mr Whitecross I agree with. All of Mr Osborne's I agree with. He originally had some others which he discussed with me, and which I know he discussed with other people. He has since removed those. Some of the amendments put up by the Greens, I think, will enhance this piece of legislation and will enhance the corporatised ACTEW. That is how this Assembly should operate. I am delighted to be taking part in this debate, and I will be delighted to support a range of different amendments.

Mr Speaker, I think this legislation marks a step forward in the way one body in the Territory at least will be able to operate, in the new environment which is going to be launched in a year's time within the Australian context, particularly for the supply of electricity. Mr Speaker, I think this is a step forward for the Territory.

MR DE DOMENICO (Minister for Urban Services) (9.36), in reply: Mr Speaker, prior to the last election this Government, as a fundamental plank in its election manifesto, made a commitment to corporatise ACTEW. This position has been consistently held since 1991, when the Alliance Government promoted and almost effected the corporatisation of ACTEW. It was not then and it is not now a radical proposal. The fact is that since the early 1980s most Australian governments - Federal, State and Territory, both Liberal and Labor - have seen the sense of corporatising government business enterprises.

Mr Speaker, since the proposal to corporatise ACTEW was first mooted in 1991, the Queensland Labor Government, for example, has corporatised its electricity utilities. In New South Wales, as Mrs Carnell and others have mentioned, the incoming Labor Government has wasted no time in announcing the corporatisation of its energy utilities. In fact, New South Wales has recognised the sense of corporatising its government business enterprises and has announced that 15 of these enterprises will proceed down this path, not for ideological reasons but because it makes good sense. This Government approaches this reform from the same perspective - that is, it is the sensible thing to do. Mr Speaker, the Hilmer reforms seek to introduce competition as part of national micro-economic reform leading to increased competitiveness of Australian products both nationally and internationally. Industry Commission inquiries indicated that utilities are a major component of overall product cost and that the competition policy’s objectives are to reduce this additional product on-cost.

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