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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 7 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 1914 ..

Carnell Government - Strategy Meeting

MRS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I have further information in answer to a question in question time today. I was asked what was the full cost of the Executive retreat from 15 to 17 December. My understanding is that the full cost was approximately $5,000. That includes venue hire and everything else. It was funded out of the Executive budget, Mr Speaker - an Executive budget that is currently coming in on track, unlike the $200,000-plus overrun of the previous Government.

Methane Gas

MR DE DOMENICO: Mr Speaker, yesterday Ms Tucker asked me a question in which she alleged that ACTEW had refused to take the methane energy from Canberra tips. I stated that I would give her a response as soon as possible. That response, Mr Speaker, is that the Government last year called tenders to collect landfill gas from Mugga Lane and Belconnen for electricity generation. The preferred tenderer cannot finalise a contract until a purchase price for the power has been agreed, quite obviously. The tenderer is continuing negotiations with ACTEW Corporation to agree on an appropriate price. This has been a complex task, quite obviously, Mr Speaker, and circumstances have been changing with the establishment of the national electricity market and substantial restructuring of electricity industries in each State, particularly New South Wales. ACTEW is also pursuing a number of options to ensure that there are willing purchasers of this green energy, as it will indeed attract a premium. Potential purchasers are also unwilling to commit themselves to long-term contracts, as they are also holding back in anticipation that the national electricity market and industry restructure will deliver lower electricity prices, as we have seen it has already in the ACT. In answer to Ms Tucker's question, ACTEW have not refused to take part in that thing. They are continuing negotiations.

Electricity Prices

MR DE DOMENICO: Mr Speaker, Mr Osborne stood up before - I am sorry that he is not here - and said that the answer to the question that he had asked me yesterday was no. Once again, for Mr Osborne's information - I want to make this quite clear to Mr Osborne - the tribunal will be accessed by his own amendment, which he was comfortable with, by the way, in his briefing, as it was the most cost-effective means of controlling prices. He wanted this method. In fact, he was consulted prior to the interim prices being announced.

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