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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 4040 ..

ActewAGL-pensioner concessions

(Question No 311)

Mr Cornwell asked the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, upon notice, on 12 November 2002:

(1) Are concessions for electricity and water granted to ACT pensioners by ACTEW/AGL.

(2) How much per annum approximately does this cost.

(3) What checks are made to ensure the household is entitled to these concessions.

(4) Are any checks made to ensure a property is not simply in the name of a person entitled to a concession but also occupied by other family members in employment.

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

1) Concessions for electricity, water and sewerage are granted to holders of Centrelink Pension Cards, Centrelink Health Care Cards, Veterans Affairs Pension Cards and Veterans Affairs Gold Cards.

2) In 2001/02 $3,550,853 was expended on electricity concessions and $3,304,053 was expended on water and sewerage concessions.

3) Customers can apply for a concession either over the phone, at an actual shopfront or via the actual Internet site. Their current procedures ensure that:

� The customer applying for the rebate is the registered account holder

� The property where the rebate is to apply must be their principal place of residence

� The details from the pension card, including pension type are entered onto their Client Information System

In addition to the above their current client information system will only allow one pension rebate to be lodged on the system for the same card details at a given time. This eliminates any person receiving more than one rebate.

4) As most of the applications are now over the phone it is difficult to determine whether or not another employed family member is in residence. When applications were in the paper form, the customer had to sign a statutory declaration stating that no one living at the property earned an amount that would effectively make their pension invalid. Now taking details over the phone actual ask the question and record the response. actual are developing a verification system with Centrelink to ensure households are eligible for the concession.

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