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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 4 Hansard (22 April) . . Page.. 1218 ..

ACTEW - Proposed Merger

Sydney Hailstorm - Firefighters

MR BERRY (5.53): During question time, Mrs Carnell raised the issue of those clients of ACTEW who purchased their electricity from other authorities. She asked why I did not write to them. They were the ones I thought were good corporate citizens and did not need writing to because they stayed with the local authority. Indeed, Mr Speaker, they are the people who do not just count the cost of electricity as their commitment to this community; it is not just about the cost of electricity. That is where the Liberals opposite missed the boat. They think it is just about the cost to the individual businesses. They do not even think about the profits, dividends and jobs that come to the ACT through buying from your local authority.

Mr Speaker, on 21 April I received a letter from Easts Rugby regarding the planned sale of ACTEW. Before I go on, let me say that many of these people, I believe, thought they were going to be forced into purchasing electricity from other sources because it was not going to be any different from dealing with an ACTEW that was going to be privatised. As I said earlier, that all changed with the emphatic decision of the Assembly. In that context, I have asked people to reconsider the issue sensibly and I have been warmly received by those people who have contacted me. Mr Speaker, the letter from Easts Rugby reads as follows:

Re: Planned Sale of ACTEW

Mr Berry you have been misled.

ESRU and ASC Inc. that is, Easts Rugby - has not gone astray. We are and have always been a customer of ACTEW.

In late 1998 I was informed (verbally) by ACTEW that our account may be subject to a takeover -

that is curious -

Subsequently, I was contacted by a Victorian based company offering cheaper rates etc. etc. The offer was not entertained.

Whoever gave the Government our name as a deserter of local businesses should be castigated as it is emphatically incorrect, bad mannered, without principle and done without our permission. The end result is a letter from you which casts our club (within the halls of power) as a business who does not support other local businesses.

We take umbrage with the inference.

Thank you for your letter and you may use this reply as you see fit.

Mr Speaker, that is one person Mrs Carnell can strike off her list, because her list was wrong and not checked. That ought to have been thought about before the list was published by the Chief Minister.

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