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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 June 2011) . . Page.. 2266 ..


Mr Hanson was therefore suspended at 2.45 pm for three sitting hours in accordance with standing order 204, and he accordingly withdrew from the chamber.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Corbell, we have lost the plot. I think you have about three minutes to go to answer the question, if you wish to use it.

MR CORBELL: Thank you, Mr Speaker. It is disappointing that those opposite are not interested in the fact that in the ACT we are managing to keep electricity prices at a much lower level—

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order! Just focus on the question, Mr Corbell, thank you.

MR CORBELL: than electricity prices in New South Wales. As members would be aware, the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission announced this week that there would be an increase of $84 in the average household electricity bill per annum. This was a 6.4 per cent rise and compares very well with the rise that we have been seeing occur over the border, which has been a 17 per cent rise in New South Wales electricity prices for the same period.

What this means is that the average Canberra resident is now paying around $1,500 a year on their electricity bill while a Queanbeyan resident can expect to pay more than $2½ thousand a year. What this means is that ACT residents continue to enjoy some of the lowest electricity prices in the country.

Obviously any price increase has an impact on household budgets, particularly those on fixed incomes. For that reason, the government is working to provide a range of concessions and other benefits to assist low income households and other households who are facing financial disadvantage, to assist them with the cost of rising utility prices.

But the fact cannot be ignored that, under the Australian Energy Market Commission’s most recent assessment of projected price increases between now and the 2012-13 financial year, the ACT ranks as the only jurisdiction that expects the lowest level of increase in electricity prices. We are below every other jurisdiction in the country when it comes to electricity prices for average households and we also expect the lowest level of increase of any jurisdiction in the country over that period. That is the assessment that has been done by the Australian Energy Market Commission.

The government continues to focus on providing assistance to those low income households who do face pressures as a result of changes in utility prices. Whilst none of us like or enjoy the prospect of seeing these bills increase, it is nevertheless important that we minimise those increases. We are seeing that here in the ACT—the lowest electricity price increases of any jurisdiction in the country. Those are projected to continue to be the case to the year 2012-13 by the Australian Energy Market Commission. The government will continue to focus its efforts on assisting


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