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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 14 February 2008) . . Page.. 347 ..

(6) All agency nurses currently working in the ACT are required to be Registered with the ACT Nursing and Midwifery Board regardless of source agency or place of residence. There are no extra allowances attached to interstate registration. Interstate agency nurses are generally accommodated in staff accommodation whilst employed by ACT Health. ACT Health will cover initial travel costs to the ACT and home after completion of contracted period of work.

(7) Across the last quarter, July, August and September 2007, the average number of full time equivalent nursing positions that were vacant was 156.0.

(8) ACT Health Nursing budgets are part of divisional operation budgets rather than discrete professional budgets. ACT Health does not monitor the Calvary nursing budget.

(9) Please refer to the answer to question (8).

Water—low income households
(Question No 1794)

Dr Foskey asked the Minister for the Environment, Water and Climate Change, upon notice, on 4 December 2007 (redirected to the Attorney-General):

(1) Has there been any consideration given to the impact of water costs on (a) large and (b) low income households;

(2) Are there any measures or support to assist such households.

Mr Corbell: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(a) Responsibility for the determination of water prices in the ACT rests with the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission (ICRC). Under section 20 of the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission Act 1997, the Commission is required to take into account the social impacts of its decisions on water tariffs. The Commission sets these tariffs so as to recover the full efficient costs of providing the relevant regulated services. The Commission’s Draft Report on water tariffs in the ACT (released December 2007) reported on its examination of the issue of how to structure water and wastewater tariffs taking into account the potentially competing goals of economic efficiency, environmental and conservation considerations, and social welfare issues. The issue of the impact of proposed new tariffs on different household groups is addressed in the Report on which the Commission is currently seeking comments prior to the finalisation of the new tariffs to take effect from July 2008.

The Commission has over recent years acted to reduce the fixed charge for the connection of households to reticulated water and place greater emphasis on the volumetric charge. The Commission has also adopted a stepped tariff approach, which effectively means that up to a certain level of overall consumption, households pay a lower rate per kilolitre for the water that they consume. These actions have been designed to provide a greater incentive for households to consider their discretionary use of water while at the same time reducing the fixed cost to households that would have applied regardless of the amount of water used.

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