Industry Panel Public Hearing - Communiqué 6 February 2015
The Industry Panel held a public hearing on 6 February 2015 in Canberra. President Ms Mary Anne Hartley QC, and Members Ms Claire Thomas PSM and Ms Sally Farrier presided.
The Panel President opened the public hearing by providing a summary of the review process to date, noting that the Panel had released its draft report and proposed price direction on 3 December 2014, and had subsequently invited written submissions about its draft decision.
Ms Hartley explained that purpose of the hearing is to explore key issues raised in the three written submissions that the Panel has received, as well as to provide a further opportunity for the ACT community to raise any other issues or new evidence that should be taken into account before the Panel makes its final decision.
Ms Hartley noted that some of the key issues arising from the submissions included:
- the Panel's approach to managing revenue risk, which includes the methodology adopted to forecast water sales
- the Panel's proposed rate of return on capital
- the proposed approach used to calculate the opening value of Icon Water's asset base
- technical issues around the proposed wording of the price direction.
Following a presentation by Icon Water (formerly ACTEW) outlining the key aspects of their submission, the Panel asked questions intended to clarify Icon's major concerns and interrogate related assertions. Other participants also asked questions of Icon.
The Panel President then opened up the forum for any other issues that participants wanted to raise in relation to the review.
In addition to representatives from Icon Water, the following people also addressed the Panel: Ms Forestier, Ms Helyar (ACTCOSS), Ms Gerussi and Ms Vidler (UP999), and Mr Collins (BDA Group).
Closing the hearing, Ms Hartley thanked all attendees for their considered contributions to the Panel's deliberations. She emphasised that, as the Panel prepares its final report and price direction, it would take into account the comments made at this hearing, along with those issues raised in the written submissions.
A transcript will be published detailing all attendees and providing a full record of the hearing.
- The Panel is working towards releasing its final report by the end of March 2015.
- If any significant departure is anticipated from these timeframes, the Panel will write to interested persons and provide updates on its website.
- The Panel will be forwarding further questions to Icon Water seeking a written response. These responses will be uploaded to the Panel's website.
At the Industry Panel Public Hearing – 6 February 2015, the Industry Panel indicated that the following documents would be published on the Panel's website: