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Notice given 30 October 2002

829  Senator Sherry: To ask the Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer—

(1) Can the Minister confirm that electricity is classified as a good or service for the purposes of the goods and services tax.

(2) Can the Minister also confirm that, for the purposes of determining liability for damage to a consumer’s electrical goods due to load shedding by an electricity supplier’s power, there is a dispute over whether the supply of electricity is a good or service (see Electricity Supply Association of Australia Ltd v ACCC [2001] FCA 1296, 12 September 2001) and that this dispute has hitherto allowed suppliers to avoid liability for damage.

(3) Can the Minister explain how these two positions are consistent; if not, what steps is the Government taking to address this apparent inconsistency.