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if they were included in the Bill. On the other hand, I believe that Mr Osborne has moved an amendment which, at least in part, may go towards addressing the concerns I have outlined. Given the short amount of time the Government has allowed the members of this Assembly to consider its Bills in relation to ACTEW, I suggest that the amendment does as much as we could hope for at this stage. I will, therefore, be supporting this amendment.
MR DE DOMENICO (Minister for Urban Services) (11.16): Mr Speaker, the Government, of course, will be supporting this amendment. It is one of those instances where commonsense prevails. Mr Osborne, obviously, is very concerned about something. He spoke to the Government. We think that what Mr Osborne is proposing is very sensible, and we are delighted to support it.
MR CONNOLLY (11.17): Mr Speaker, for the Opposition’s part, I would like to reinforce a point that Ms Tucker made, which was that there is a bit of a problem here. We will be supporting this amendment. We understand why the amendment came up. Mr Osborne raised a concern, and the Government wanted to quickly address that. You wanted to get the Bill through tonight. You did not want to have a process of committee review or any further delay. So, we accept that this is the only mechanism, given that it would have been impossible to come up with the details of this review process in the period in which this arrangement has been brokered. But there is a real concern of principle, where you are creating a body with powers to monitor this corporation, which is a pretty powerful sort of a body, that you are doing it by regulation. Mr Osborne, wearing his hat of chair of the Scrutiny of Bills Committee, I am sure, would see the slightly odd nature of that.
I would also stress that, as you conceded, Mr De Domenico, the Essential Services Review Committee, which you intend should continue to have jurisdiction over ACTION - which was a very significant piece of social justice reform and the first such law put through an Australian parliament - has a statutory form. So, it is rather odd that you have the Review Committee, a creature of statute, and this more powerful committee, in the sense that it is going to review prices, by regulation. Once the Government has worked out the details of this, it may consider elevating the review body, or, indeed, it may be that private members will do that for the Government. So, we would point out that, while we support this, there is a real issue of principle in creating, by regulation, a review body with such powers.
MR MOORE (11.18): I support the amendment, Mr Speaker. I think that Mr Osborne, in moving this amendment, has put his finger on the nub of a great deal of concern in the community and has come up with a sensible way to deal with that concern. The issues raised by Mr Connolly are issues that we often face in a range of pieces of legislation where we are, effectively, trying something that has not been tried before. We will monitor it and see how it works. If there is a problem, no doubt, either the Government or some other member will bring it back to the Assembly.