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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 5 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1835 ..

between 1996 and 2003. This is less than for Queensland (4.5%), South Australia (8.5%) and the Northern Territory (6.7%).

ACT residents are not subsidising the small business and large business sectors.

Full retail competition is to be introduced from 1 July this year. This is expected to see electricity prices in all sectors of the ACT respond to changes in wholesale market prices as these changes are passed on through a competitive retail market.

Bushfires-TransACT restorations

(Question No 634)

Mr Cornwell

asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

In relation to a report in the Canberra Times on 20 March 2003 (page 10) that "Mr Lauder said more than 6000 customers - more than 25 per cent of the business - lost their TransACT services in the (January 18) fires":

Given that all telephony customers had their telephone services restored by 31 January 2003 (answer to Question on notice no. 600) how many customers as at 1 May 2003 still had to have services restored.

If 6000 customers equals more than 25 per cent of TransACT business in the ACT, is more than 24000, or 100 percent, in line with TransACT targets for ACT customer sign-ups.

How many customers (a) of the 24000 and (b) in excess of the 24000, still are to be connected to their required service.

What are the major reasons for the failure to connect potential customers in (3) above.

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

TransACT is a private company and its relationship with the Government is through ACTEW Corporation's minority shareholding with several other private sector investors in the project. As such, the Government is not responsible for, and cannot control TransACT's day-to-day operations. Additionally, I am not in a position to comment on statements attributed to TransACT employees reported in the press. However, I asked ACTEW to seek answers from TransACT to your questions.

Following the Canberra bushfires in January 2003, TransACT's initial priority was to ensure that telephony services to all its customers were restored as soon as possible. As previously stated in my answer to Question on Notice No. 600, TransACT has advised that it had restored telephony services to its customers by 31 January 2003

The restoration of TransACT's broadband (television and data) services was a more complex undertaking as it was more reliant on the restoration of physical infrastructure. Although, in many instances TransACT has restored broadband services to customers through the installation of temporary restoration works, permanent restoration will depend on when other damaged infrastructure is replaced.

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