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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 4 Hansard (18 April) . . Page.. 1041 ..


MR DE DOMENICO (Minister for Urban Services) (10.52): Mr Speaker, I present the Electricity (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1996, together with its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.


That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, this Bill modifies provisions of the Electricity Act 1971 in relation to the licensing of electrical contractors and electricians and the inspection of electrical installations. In October 1994 the Electrical Licensing Board was established and replaced ACTEW as the authority for granting electrical licences. During the transition period between the previous and new arrangements, ACTEW continued to issue and renew licences until November 1994. Although not all licence holders are actively engaged in electrical work in the Territory, a portion of the 100 licences issued during this period remain current. Mr Speaker, this Bill will validate these licences, removing any question of liability of the Territory should a holder of one of these licences carry out illegal work.

The Bill also amends the principal Act to allow for the making of regulations to exempt a percentage of electrical work from inspection. The intention is to require the person responsible for an electrical installation to test it and provide the Department of Urban Services with a copy of the test results. The department will inspect and test specific parts of all new installations and a selection of other parts of new installations and additions to existing installations. The frequency of inspections will depend on the performance of the person responsible for the work. This will allow the ACT to implement a national agreement to reduce electrical inspection to a percentage of work.

The inspection and certification of electrical installations function has been transferred to the Department of Urban Services in line with the corporatisation of ACTEW. Currently, the Act limits the power to inspect to authorised officers of the ACTEW Authority. Transitional arrangements for the appointment of inspectors were made by way of regulation under the Electricity and Water (Corporatisation) (Consequential Provisions) Act 1995. However, these arrangements expire on 1 July 1996, and this Bill will provide for permanent arrangements to be made and validates appointments made under the transitional arrangements. Mr Speaker, these amendments are necessary to validate present arrangements and will enable more cost-effective control of industry.

Debate (on motion by Mr Wood) adjourned.

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