Ministerial Statement Reform of the Power and Water Authority Six months on
Tabled paper 1301
Tabled Papers for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
Tabled by Barry Coulter
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.
13 The nature of these types of exercises is that the easier targets will be hit first. The rest of the $30 million may not come quite as quickly but the introduction of competition will keep the pressure on to do so. And find these savings we must if PAWA is going to prosper and deliver to Territorians the lower tariffs they need and demand. Mr Speaker, before I conclude I would like to address a few matters raised by the Member for Nhulunbuy yesterday. In doing so I also put the reforms of the last six months in the context of the massive changes that have been taking place in the Australian electricity industry, and indeed throughout the western world over the last decade. In 1995 and 1996 the Council of Australian Governments took decisions that have led to the industry being opened to the winds of competition. This has had its earliest and most significant impact on the eastern seaboard where the grids of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia have been interconnected. The Northern Territory wont be interconnected in our lifetime bu t we can still get benefits from competition. Traditionally the electricity industry was an inwardly focussed one concentrating on technical issues and not having to be too concerned about customers. It was also an industry where poor work practices were the norm - where any increase in pay or conditions could be simply passed on to the customer. The reforms in the electricity industry are meant to bring better services at lower costs. This is already occurring in the national market and is now starting to occur in the Territory. Changes such as this do not occur easily or quickly. We are talking about changing mindsets and heavily entrenched customs and practices. And it has meant massive job losses, so some resistance is to be expected. 13