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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 16 August 2017) . . Page.. 2781 ..

MR RATTENBURY: In terms of what will be in that communications strategy, I am keen for the directorate to put together very clear instructions for people that are available for them to find easily. Because last year was the first time it happened in the ACT, it would be fair to say that it was a little bit put together in a hurry. That would perhaps be the best way to describe it. It was effective but I would like to see it more thorough, so that there is a website people can go to to get more detailed information, because one of the things that clearly came up in February was that people have lots of questions. I am keen that if we are in this situation again people are able to go and find the information themselves: if they hear something on the radio, they are able to drill down a bit further. That is what we want to do.

In terms of whether it will be proactive, I have not taken that decision yet. That will depend a little bit on the further discussions with AEMO and their advice on the likelihood of such events. That will depend on some analysis of the national energy market. I am of a mind to have the information available, at least on the ACT government website, at the start of summer so that if people want to go and look they can. Then we would seek to promote it more extensively if the circumstances were to arise. There is still some work to do in this space. It is a live discussion inside the government at the moment and I am continuing to think about it and receive advice from my directorate.

MS LEE: Minister, have the particular areas of vulnerable households that may be affected by this potential been identified, and will the government undertake to ensure that these vulnerable households will be protected?

MR RATTENBURY: I presume you mean vulnerable households in this context to mean people who are, perhaps through medical conditions and other reasons, particularly reliant on continuous electricity supply, as opposed to financially vulnerable households, for which I do not think this issue is such a specific one. That is certainly work that needs to be done through further a communications strategy and further analysis of the likelihood of these circumstances occurring. I am happy to provide an update on that closer to summer if members would find that useful.

Crime—fuel theft

MRS JONES: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Several petrol station owners and operators have continued to contact me regarding the large number of times petrol, diesel and gas drive-offs have occurred. These owners and operators have expressed their frustrations to me about the massive cost that this theft is having on their businesses cumulatively. In your answer to my question on notice during estimates, you advised that the total figure for stolen fuel in the ACT is $77,661, as per ACT Policing’s figures, and that the average amount stolen per incident was $55.13. This represents approximately 1,408 incidents of theft. Despite this, only 16 people were charged with fuel theft last financial year, as opposed to 29 being charged in the year before that. Minister, why has the number of people being charged for fuel theft almost halved in 12 months while the costs to business have remained the same?

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