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Debates and Questions - Day 1 - 24 April 2020



Debates and Questions - Day 1 - 24 April 2020

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Parliamentary Record 27


Debates and Questions for 13th Assembly 2019 - 2020; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory




Debates and Questions

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES AND QUESTIONS Friday 24 April 2020 8365 The purpose of this bill is to make minor amendments to the Electricity Reform Act 2000 and the Water Supply and Sewerage Act 2000 to enable the responsible minister to issue pricing orders for electricity, water and sewerage tariffs that apply from a retrospective date. Importantly, the amendments will only allow a pricing order to be made retrospectively in circumstances where the pricing order is not increasing a customers tariffs. It is vital that we support local businesses and local jobs through these unprecedented times. As part of the Territory governments Jobs Rescue and Recovery Plan we are supporting local businesses affected by COVID-19 by reducing their electricity, water and sewerage bills by 50% for up to six months. The amendments in the bill will allow these reductions to occur from 1 April 2020. I am pleased to commend this bill to honourable members. Motion agreed to; bill read a first time. Ms MANISON (Treasurer): Madam Speaker, I move that the bill be declared to be urgent. It is very straightforward, we want to make sure we get this relief to businesses as quickly as possible, which is why this is part of the urgent parliamentary sittings today. Madam SPEAKER: I now need to go to the members on the phone. Member for Arnhem, do you support this? Ms UIBO: Yes, Madam Speaker. Madam SPEAKER: Member for Barkly, do you wish to support this? Mr McCARTHY: Yes, Madam Speaker. Madam SPEAKER: Member for Braitling, do you wish to support this? Ms WAKEFIELD: Yes, Madam Speaker. Madam SPEAKER: Member for Karama, do you wish to support this? Ms AH KIT: Yes, Madam Speaker. Madam SPEAKER: Member for Namatjira, do you wish to support this? Mr PAECH: Yes, Madam Speaker. Motion agreed to. Ms MANISON (Treasurer): Madam Speaker, I move that the bill be now read a second time. Mrs FINOCCHIARO (Opposition Leader): Madam Speaker, we will support this legislation and thank the government for the briefing it provided yesterday. Power and water bill relief will be a hugely important part of keeping many businesses sustainable throughout this crisis. We know they have taken an enormous hit and, sadly, some may not come out the other side of this crisis. Many have been able to change the way in which they do things, but there is no question that the restraint placed upon our ordinary way of life makes it incredibly different and, for many businesses, impossible to operate. For those who have power and water bills that continue we need to provide relief. Rent, taxes, staffing and overheads like power and water are the biggest expenses to business. We have been calling for power and water relief from the outset, so it is very welcome that the government, albeit many weeks later, came to the same conclusion we did, which is if we do not quickly provide as much relief as possible for serious overheads, we will not have a business community to come back to after this crisis. We have to do everything we can to keep as many businesses alive as we can throughout this crisis. We need them there for us on the other end. It is encouraging that we have no community transmission. We are now many days down the track of no new cases, which is encouraging. Hopefully we are moving towards a point of easing restrictions or changing the ways in which we can operate as a jurisdiction.

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