Page 2535 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 6 August 2013

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The final report and price direction for the provision of water and sewerage services from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2019 was the result, as I am sure members are aware, of an extensive investigation by the commission, which involved substantial consultation with the community, with ACTEW and with government. The commission has chosen to significantly revise their approach to the regulatory model for setting water and sewerage prices. The new model is based on a six-year regulatory period with biennial adjustments to allow for mid-term reconsideration of key underlying variables such as water consumption forecasts.

The commission has also concluded that in order to implement fully this new regulatory model and provide the appropriate return on equity to the community, a period of transition for prices is appropriate. This will ensure a smooth transition in prices for consumers. As we have discussed ad nauseam, Mr Assistant Speaker, this will see lower returns to government from ACTEW in the early years of the regulatory period, with returns increasing across the period as prices increase. The overall outcome of a decrease in 2013-14 of $83 in water and sewerage bills for the average household consuming 200 kilolitres of water a year will provide cost of living relief to ACT families and is welcomed by the territory government.

Mr Assistant Speaker, the commission’s final report for retail prices for franchise electricity customers 2012 to 2014 increased prices in 2012-13 by 17.74 per cent, again as we have discussed at length in this place. This, of course, is linked to the introduction of the national carbon price which was responsible for 80 per cent of that increase. The recent pricing adjustment by the commission for the 2013-14 fiscal year increased regulated prices by a much more modest 3.47 per cent, mainly due to increased network costs and the costs of the ACT energy efficiency improvement scheme. However, these increases were partially offset by a slight decrease in energy purchase costs.

I regret that the tabling of this report to the Assembly has been delayed. I do note, of course, that the pricing outcome was publically announced in 2012 and has been discussed on numerous occasions. In fact, I think it has been the subject of dozens of questions in the Assembly, in annual reports hearings, in estimates and the like. I commend these reports to the Assembly.

Cotter Dam—enlargement

Paper and statement by minister

MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for Tourism and Events and Minister for Community Services): I present the following paper, which was circulated to members when the Assembly was not sitting:

Enlarged Cotter Dam Project—ACTEW Voting Shareholder Information—Statement on the Enlarged Cotter Dam, dated 9 July 2013, pursuant to the resolution of the Assembly of 21 March 2012.

I seek leave to make a statement on the paper.

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