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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 5 Hansard (9 May) . . Page.. 1496 ..

Yarralumla-electricity supply

(Question No 147)

Mr Cornwell asked the Treasurer, upon notice, on 11 April 2002L

In relation to your letter of 25 March to me concerning interruptions to electricity supplies in Yarralumla:

(1) What is the Essential Services Consumer Council.

(2) Who are its members by name.

(3) Where is the Council located, how often does it meet and where can details of its existence and service to consumers be found in the 2002 ACT White Pages Telephone Directory.

(4) Why should consumers have to seek the services of this Council to address constant interruptions of electricity supply as outlined in my letter of 7 February 2002.

(5) Who ultimately is responsible for making decisions to address complaints and compensation claims following power outages.

Mr Quinlan: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) The Essential Services Consumer Council (ESCC) is an independent statutory complaint handling body established under Part 11 of the Utilities Act 2000 (the Act).

The Council replaced the former Essential Services Review Committee (ESRC) from 1 March 2001.

As well as seeking to ensure, so far as practicable, that utility services continue to be provided to persons suffering financial hardship, the functions of the Council under the Act include protecting the rights of customers and consumers under the Act; facilitating the resolution of complaints by utility customers and determining unresolved complaints.

(2) The members of the Council are:

Peter Sutherland

Patricia McDonald

William Pearcy

Annamaree Reisch

Maurice Sexton

Patricia Walsh

(3) The Council is located at Level 6, FAI House, 197 London Circuit, Canberra City.

Hearings relating to hardship complaints are held weekly. Hearings relating to other complaints are held as required.

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