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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 10 Hansard (7 December) . . Page.. 2795 ..

MRS CARNELL (continuing):

is still a matter of discussion, as you can imagine, Ms Follett, with all of the senior players. When I have a final report I will be very happy to make it available to members of this Assembly. I will be happy to organise a briefing for anybody who may choose to have one.

MS FOLLETT: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Mrs Carnell, will you provide a briefing on the recommendations of the Cullen Egan Dell report to Assembly members before the Assembly considers the detail stage of the amendments to the Public Sector Management Act, so that members can be aware of the impact of their votes on the amendment Bill and also on the jobs and nature of our career public service?

MRS CARNELL: I have never resiled from the fact that the Cullen Egan Dell report does recommend a reduction in the number of SES officers in the ACT. The number that it recommends is between 20 and 25. I think that is public knowledge at this stage. That does not mean that, at the end of the day, that is the number of positions that will go. What will happen is that the new structure will be placed upon the table, all current positions will be declared vacant, and all new positions will be filled on the basis of merit. That is the issue that we will be debating.

Mr Berry: And compatibility.

MRS CARNELL: On the basis of merit, Mr Berry. That is the basis of this legislation; not how many positions there happen to be, or what the management structure happens to look like, but that all positions will be filled on merit. Yes, there will be fewer positions than there are now - we have never suggested anything else - but the management structure will relate to the services that are required to be provided by the departments.

ACTEW - Pricing Tribunal

MR HIRD: Mr Speaker, my question is to Mr De Domenico, the Deputy Chief Minister, who is responsible for ACTEW Corporation. Having regard to our colleague Mr Osborne's concern last month regarding possible delay in establishing a pricing tribunal for ACTEW, can the Minister inform the parliament whether there has been any further progress with the establishment of the body to regulate ACTEW's charges?

MR DE DOMENICO: I thank the member for his question. Mr Speaker, as Mr Hird said, the Assembly would be aware that Mr Osborne inquired about the progress of this matter on 22 November. At that time I reiterated the Government's commitment to establish such a body. I made it clear at the time that there were a number of options that the Government needed to look at before establishing the tribunal. Contrary to comments made at that time, considerable work had been done by the Government so as to ensure that a pricing tribunal is established before the next round of price adjustments is due to be made in July 1996. ACTEW has also been involved in this process, as it realises the benefit in having this regulatory framework in place.

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