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Monday, 7 November 2011
Page: 8285

Senator WONG (South AustraliaMinister for Finance and Deregulation) (11:45): In terms of the detail around assistance, the application for assistance et cetera, I refer you to chapter 6, page 171, forward of the explanatory memorandum. It goes through in quite a great amount of detail how the annual assistance factor is determined, the determination of eligibility, the process of applying for assistance, the assessment by the regulator, the issue of assistance and also the energy security test—the power system reliability test—which is included in this. Those provisions are transparent on the public record.

What I do not think is appropriate—and you can huff and puff all you like about this—

Senator Cormann: I am asking you a question.

Senator WONG: And I am saying I do not think any minister would want to come into this place on an issue of public policy and say to the Senate, 'Company X will get this much and Company Y will get that much.' I do not think that is appropriate. I think what are appropriate are transparent arrangements around how a pool of funding will be allocated and the process for that. That is what is in the explanatory memorandum. I am sure there will be further detail that will be the subject of consultation upon passage of the bill between the government, the relevant department, the regulator and the companies concerned.