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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 14 December 2016) . . Page.. 161 ..

Mitchell property. At present the business is paying more than $2,500 per week to hire a generator to power the site. Chief Minister, what discussions have you, your office or the planning directorate had with Mr Baldwin, and why has this issue with electricity not been rectified?

MR BARR: It is good to see that the habits of doing live-read ads have now been brought in to the Assembly. Once a talkback host, once a commercial radio host, always a commercial radio host! In fact you did that one better than the ones you did in the studio with me, as I recall. But good on you, and thank you—

Mr Coe: You’ve been doing a live-read for Aquis for a long time.

MR BARR: Madam Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition shouldn’t give up his day job; he is not a comedian. As we go to the matter of substance, I do thank Mr Parton for raising this matter. Yes, there are, as I understand, a number of complexities associated with the electricity supply to this particular business. I understand that the relevant agencies—in this case that would be ACTEW—are seeking to work with the business owner—

Members interjecting—

MR BARR: Indeed; on the regulatory side as well. I will need to get an update on exactly where this particular issue is at. There may be a dispute, as I understand it, over the cost associated with the necessary electricity supply for the business. But I do appreciate the point that Mr Parton has raised about this particular business adding something to this sector of the ACT economy, and it would be pleasing if both the regulatory framework and the practical outcomes around electricity can be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction as soon as possible, not least so that we do not get more live reads from Mr Parton.

Mr Parton interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: You have not had the call, Mr Parton, so resume your seat. A supplementary, Mr Parton.

MR PARTON: Chief Minister, given the entrepreneurial nature of this business, I think it is extremely important for me to ask the question: why is your government making it so hard for this business to operate?

MR BARR: I do not believe that that is the case and I do not think—or I hope, anyway—that the member is suggesting there be any shortcuts in relation to electrical safety. Given the range of issues in this particular field of production and in this particular area—let us not forget that we have had incidents in this industrial area that caused significant damage to other surrounding businesses—I think it is important that an electricity connection is made safely and appropriately.

I am not an electrical engineer. I do not profess to have a complete understanding of all of the supply issues associated with this business but, given that it has been raised in here, I will seek some further information from the regulator and, indeed, from the electricity company as to when this issue can be resolved.

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