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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 11 February 2010) . . Page.. 424 ..

Housing—utility connections
(Question No 513)

Mr Seselja asked the Chief Minister, upon notice, on 10 December 2009 (redirected to the Treasurer):

(1) What is the average length of time it takes for utilities, including water, sewerage, telecommunications, electricity and gas, to be connected to new homes in new sub divisions.

(2) On how many occasions has settlement on new homes or blocks been delayed due to utilities not being connected.

(3) How many staff work to connect utilities, including water, sewerage, telecommunications, electricity and gas, to new homes and which agency or department are they from.

(4) How many ACTEW staff work to connect electricity to new homes.

(5) What is the current wait time for electricity to be connected to new homes.

Ms Gallagher: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

The following responses are provided in relation to water, sewerage, electricity and gas connections performed by the ActewAGL Joint Venture only. There are several other privately-owned gas and electricity retail providers in the Territory from whom the Government is not in a position to request input to this response. With the exception of a minority shareholding in TransACT, the Government has no ownership interests in telecommunications that would allow the provision of an accurate response to these questions.

(1) Water and Sewerage: Water and sewerage connections are constructed by the suburb or estate developer. When work begins to construct a residential property, water and sewerage connections are available for use immediately. I am informed that over the past three financial years (from 2006 07), there are no records of complaints being received that a water or sewerage connection has taken longer than necessary.

Electricity: Before the electricity supply can be used, the ACT Planning and Land Authority is first required to approve the installation for electrical compliance and customers must establish a retail supply agreement with the retailer of their choice. I am advised that the current average completion time is 10 days.

For those instances where the customer has not yet entered a retail supply agreement, or if approval has not been obtained from the ACT Planning and Land Authority, I understand that the current average time for the connection of electricity to new homes, which includes underground cable installation and meter installation, is around 24 business days. Further delays may be experienced where properties are not ready for either the cable or the revenue meter to be installed despite a “Request for Service” having been submitted to ActewAGL by the electrical contractor. Also there are instances where ActewAGL staff are unable to gain access because of building materials on the block which leads to further delays.

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