Page 397 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 20 February 2018

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There are a number of operators who are well-known local companies and who have either expanded their repertoire, so to speak, to take this on or it was already work they were doing, and that is ensuring the development of the expertise locally.

We have also seen spin-offs of that through companies like Reposit Power who operate out of Fyshwick and who are rapidly growing as a successful Canberra exporter through their ability to work with householders who have batteries to create virtual power plants to maximise the return for individual householders but also to provide those network-wide services that are connecting those batteries up collectively that can result from the networking of those individual facilities.

These are all important developments that drive both local environmental and economic benefits but also add to Canberra’s growing reputation as a centre of excellence when it comes to renewable energy and energy technologies.

Light rail—WorkSafe ACT notices

MR MILLIGAN: My question is to the Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations. Minister, on 16 February 2018 the Canberra Times reported that WorkSafe ACT had served Canberra Metro with a prohibition notice and an improvement notice, following a gas leak at the site of light rail works on Thursday, 15 February 2018. Minister, how many prohibition or improvement notices have been issued by WorkSafe ACT in relation to works associated with the light rail project?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Milligan for his question. Those kinds of operational issues in relation to WorkSafe are the responsibility of the Minister for Regulatory Services. However, I am happy to take the detail of the question on notice and to confirm that, yes, a prohibition notice was issued to prohibit any excavation on the Canberra Metro light rail project following that incident last week. We have been expressing concern about a number of incidents on the Canberra Metro site, and WorkSafe has our full support in ensuring the safety of workers on the light rail site. In that context I would emphasise that in the 2017-18 budget the government funded an additional three inspectors specifically for the light rail project, demonstrating our support for work health and safety on this very important and very complex infrastructure project.

MR MILLIGAN: Minister, what penalties have been imposed on contractors relating to prohibition or improvement notices issued by WorkSafe ACT?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I will take the question on notice.

MR WALL: Minister, what steps have you or your directorate taken to ensure that the consortium and the contractors on the light rail project are adhering to work health and safety legislation and ensuring community safety during the construction process?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Wall for his supplementary question. I receive regular briefings, as do Minister Ramsay and, I am sure, Minister Fitzharris, in relation to this matter. It is a subject of ongoing conversation with WorkSafe.

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