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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 12 Hansard (25 November) . . Page.. 3682 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

Mr Speaker, under the current arrangements in the Water Resources Act the abstraction charge can be collected only within 28 days after the end of the financial year to which the charges relate. Consistent with the Government's accrual accounting policy, it is clearly more appropriate for the charge to be collected during the financial year to which it relates. The majority of the revenue collected will relate to water abstracted by the ACTEW Corporation from ACT waterways.

Under the current provisions ACTEW would collect the charge from its customers in one financial year, then remit the revenue for that entire year to the Government during the subsequent financial year. This will result in ACTEW holding that revenue for up to 12 months, resulting in a windfall gain to the corporation which is not accounted for in regulated prices.

Mr Speaker, for small water users it is recognised that quarterly or other instalment payments throughout the year might be more appropriate. The amendment, as drafted, provides flexibility to tailor payment options to particular circumstances. The passing of this amendment will require a new determination for all fees and charges levied under the Act. It is my intention that the fees included in the new determination will be identical to the existing fees. As a disallowable instrument, the particular payment arrangements provided will be subject to Assembly scrutiny.

This change to the way fees are collected under the Water Resources Act will ensure that financial arrangements relating to the Act are consistent with good financial management practice.

Debate (on motion by Mr Corbell ) adjourned.


Proposed Reference

MR SPEAKER: Order! The member, having failed to move his motion, it shall be withdrawn from the notice paper, in accordance with standing order 128.



MS TUCKER (11.14): I move:


(1) the Standing Committee for the Chief Minister's Portfolio inquire into and report on, as part of its inquiry into Departmental Annual and Financial Reports, the Legislative Assembly Secretariat's 1998-99 Report; and

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