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MR OSBORNE (11.11): Mr Speaker, I move:
Page 3, line 14, insert the following items:
“Section 48 -
After subsection (1) insert the following subsection:
‘(1AA) For the purposes of subsection (1), charges shall be in accordance with any relevant direction given by a body referred to in section 49A.’.
After section 49 -
Insert the following section:
Regulation of charges
‘49A. The regulations may provide for -
(a) the establishment of a body having the function of regulating charges for or in connection with the supply of electricity or water or the provision of sewerage services;
(b) the giving of directions by that body to the Company for the purposes of subsection 48(1);
(c) the membership, procedures and staffing of that body;
(d) the matters that should be taken into account by that body in giving directions; and
(e) other powers and functions of that body, including the conduct of investigations for the purpose of performing the function referred to in paragraph (a).’.”.
This amendment goes basically to the major concern that I had about ACTEW, and that was pricing and what sort of control we would have over it. By the setting up of this body, I feel that there would be an independent regulator of price so that ACTEW could not then put prices through the roof, which has been a major concern of mine.
MR WHITECROSS (11.11): Mr Speaker, the Labor Party will be supporting Mr Osborne's amendment. We think it is moving in a helpful direction. I might say that the Labor Party, while applauding the intentions of Mr Osborne in this matter, is disappointed by the lack of detail about the nature of this body and the extent of its powers to direct the company in one way or another in relation to charges. We think it might have been more helpful if these things had been spelt out. This is why we wanted to have a select committee, so that we could sort out some of these things.