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Annual Report 2018-2019 Essential Services Commission of South Australia



Annual Report 2018-2019 Essential Services Commission of South Australia

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Tabled paper 1481


Tabled Papers for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT






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ESCOSA Annual Report 201819 10 Consumer Advisory Committee The Commission has a Consumer Advisory Committee, established under section 17 of the ESC Act. The Consumer Advisory Committee informs the work of the Commission and provides valued input into the Commissions consultation and decision-making processes. Through the Consumer Advisory Committee, the Commission gains members views on issues of interest for communities. It informs members about issues and decisions relating to, or affecting, consumers. Membership is drawn from peak bodies representing a wide range and diversity of interests, including vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers, rural and remote consumers, local government, environmental interest groups, industry and business. The Consumer Advisory Committee considered and provided input into a range of regulatory matters the Commission considered during the year. The membership of the Consumer Advisory Committee is outlined in the financial statements at Note 2.2. Small Grants Program The Commission makes provision in its budget for a Small Grants Program. This program assists Consumer Advisory Committee members in undertaking programs, activities and/or research that benefit water and energy consumers, aligning this work with the Commissions primary statutory objectives. The Commission received and approved two applications for a small grant during 2018-19, totalling $20,000. These were: SACOSS received a grant of $15,000 to undertake consultation in relation to assessing the challenges that some Aboriginal communities face in obtaining reliable access to essential services. Business SA received a grant of $5,000 to seek external assistance with the report it submitted to the Water Price Inquiry A Balanced Bargain conducted by Mr Lew Owens. Inquiries and advice During 2018-19, the Commission continued two inquiries (under Part 7 of the ESC Act) and provided formal advice to the Treasurer of South Australia (under section 5(f) of the ESC Act). Inquiries are conducted through a formal public process and final reports are tabled in Parliament. Inquiry into regulatory arrangements for small-scale and off-grid water, gas and electricity services The Commission continued its inquiry into how it regulates small-scale utility operations. This inquiry aims to ensure the Commissions regulatory frameworks applied under industry regulation Acts are consistent with its primary statutory objective, are proportionate, and are responsive to recent and emerging issues. The Commission commenced this inquiry with the release of an issues paper in August 2016 to consider the appropriate regulatory arrangements to apply to small-scale water supplies, sewerage services, non-national market electricity and reticulated liquefied petroleum gas supplies. The inquiry was then reprioritised due to other inquiries and statutory work. A Framework and Approach paper was released in June 2019 requesting submissions. The inquiry will be completed in 2019-20. Inquiry into the South Australian bulk grain export supply chain costs In March 2017, the Treasurer of South Australia referred to the Commission an inquiry into the South Australian bulk grain export supply chain costs. Its purpose was to determine the reasonableness of the costs underpinning the South Australian bulk grain export supply chain. The inquiry comprised two parts: first, inquiring into South Australian bulk grain export supply chain costs over the past 10 years, and https://www.escosa.sa.gov.au/consultation/consumer-advisory-committee https://www.escosa.sa.gov.au/consultation/consumer-advisory-committee http://www.escosa.sa.gov.au/projects-and-publications/projects/inquiries/inquiry-into-regulatory-arrangements-for-small-scale-water-sewerage-and-energy-services/inquiry-into-regulatory-arrangements-for-small-scale-and-off-grid-water-gas-and-electricity-services http://www.escosa.sa.gov.au/projects-and-publications/projects/inquiries/inquiry-into-the-south-australian-bulk-grain-supply-chain-costs/inquiry-into-the-south-australian-bulk-grain-supply-chain-costs