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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 9 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 2694 ..

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, do I have to put up with them all the time interrupting?

MR SPEAKER: The question has been asked, Mr Corbell. It is being answered.

MR CORBELL: I ask a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Chief Minister, are you drawing on the New South Wales structure in any way currently in your development of a regulatory framework? Do you maintain the view that this whole process could be out of the way in the next few weeks, or even by February, with the uncertainty in the national debate both on regulation of electricity and water and on the future structure of the national electricity market?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I do not know of any debate about the future structure of the national electricity market. We had a Premiers Conference last week where every Premier, particularly the New South Wales Labor Premier, came out very strongly in favour of the current situation and suggested that no change was the approach for the national regulatory framework. I do not know of any changes that are being proposed to the national electricity grid or, for that matter, to the approaches that are being taken in other areas.

Mr Speaker, with regard to running off New South Wales, we are looking at New South Wales and Victoria and other places for the good bits, the bits they are doing well. We are not using New South Wales as the model. We are developing our own best practice where necessary. I suppose you could arguably say that New South Wales is looking to run off us, because ours is looking to be the best practice in Australia.

Delta Electricity

MR OSBORNE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister regarding the Delta Electricity deal. I did not hear the answer to the question from Mr Quinlan, so I may be covering the same ground. The proposed deal, Chief Minister, which according to your Liberal colleague in Sydney Ron Phillips is about to be signed, is a five-year deal at $26 per megawatt hour, a price nearly 40 per cent cheaper than that at which Delta sell to their own residents. Are you able to provide us with a comparison of how this proposed deal stacks up against our present contract with Yallourn? Does any of the electricity produced by Delta involve the use of brown coal?

MS CARNELL: Thank you very much, Mr Osborne, for the question. At this stage I cannot stack up the two deals against each other, because the Delta deal is not signed and not finished, and I think it would be unfortunate for any of us to undermine what looks like a good deal. I do not know where the electricity comes from, Mr Osborne, but, taking into account that it is generated in New South Wales, I would be very surprised if it did not come from coal-fired power stations.

With regard to the comments that have been made about the Delta deal and the arrangements that are being entered into, my understanding from what ACTEW have told me this morning is that what Ron Phillips said was possibly a little simplistic; that it was not as simple as being able to say that this was the amount we would pay for all power.

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