Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 1 Hansard (30 April) . . Page.. 235 ..
MS CARNELL (continuing):
It was resolved that the Government should be promptly advised that the Board has serious reservations about the ability of the Corporation to maintain the value of the energy retail business in the medium to long term. These concerns are underscored by the conclusions of the Fay Richwhite Report (April 1998) and are based on:
. increasing competition from interstate competitors who are able to use their balance sheets to "buy" customers and to spread their risks; - - -
Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, the Chief Minister was asked whether she would direct the board to report - - -
Mr Hird: Is this a point of order?
Mr Berry: It is an issue of addressing the subject of the question again. The Chief Minister was asked whether she would direct the board to report to the Assembly prior to further review following the Fay Richwhite report on its activities and the outcome of the efforts to maintain and improve its customer base.
MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order.
Mr Berry: The Assembly, on behalf of the people, is entitled to know.
MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order. Continue, Chief Minister.
MS CARNELL: I am just telling you what the board has done, Mr Speaker, which, I think, is exactly the question that was asked. The resolution continues:
. the inability (and inappropriateness) of ACTEW to increase its electricity purchasing risk profile to the extent that it can, on the one hand, match competitor's prices and, on the other hand, provide the necessary assurance to the Government that this will not result in unacceptable financial losses.
It was further resolved to recommend to the Government that:
1. it note the likelihood of a substantial reduction in the value of the energy retail business and the possibility of a need to change the risk profile of electricity marketing operations; and
2. as a matter of urgency, undertake a study to develop options for reform, divestment and/or disaggregation or expanded development of the Corporation.
Mr Speaker, what ACTEW have done - and again I say that people such as Jim Service, Michael Easson, Bill Morris and John Turner are, we all know, above reproach - is told us what they believe the situation is for ACTEW, and they have said that what needs to happen now, as a matter of urgency, is that a study has to be undertaken to develop options for reform, divestment, disaggregation and expanded development of the corporation.