|About the Regulator
The Tasmanian Economic Regulator
The Tasmanian Economic Regulator is established under the Economic Regulator Act 2009. Commencing on 1 June 2010, the Economic Regulator Act mandates the functions and powers of the Regulator as well as the appointment to the statutory office of Regulator.
In July 2015, following the enactment of the Economic Regulator Amendment Act 2015, the Tasmanian Economic Regulator was restructured from a three-person panel to a single person with the capacity to appoint an Assistant Regulator for specific functions, if required. The amended Economic Regulator Act also provides for the appointment of an Acting Regulator, to act as the Regulator, during any period that the Regulator is absent.
Following the restructure of the Tasmanian Economic Regulator in July 2015, Mr Glenn Appleyard (the former Chair) was appointed as the Regulator for a transitional period until the Government announced the appointment of Mr Joe Dimasi as the new Tasmanian Economic Regulator commencing on 9 November 2015. Mr Dimasi is a former Commissioner of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission where he established and led the ACCC's regulatory functions over a period of 18 years first as Head of its Regulatory Division and later as Commissioner. Mr Dimasi established the Australian Utilities Regulator's Forum and was a founding council member of the East Asian and Pacific Infrastructure Regulators Forum which was established under the guidance of the World Bank to provide training and outreach to smaller regulators in the East Asian and Pacific region. Mr Dimasi is also Professorial Fellow at the Monash Business School.
The Tasmanian Economic Regulator is supported by staff of the Office of the Tasmanian Economic Regulator (OTTER).
The Tasmanian Economic Regulator - prior to 1 July 2015
Prior to the enactment of the Economic Regulator Amendment Act, the Tasmanian Economic Regulator was a three person panel. The panel was established on 1 June 2010 and replaced the statutory positions of Electricity Regulator, Director of Gas, Government Prices Oversight Commission and Water and Sewerage Economic Regulator.
The Tasmanian Economic Regulator - prior to 1 June 2010
Prior to the enactment of the Economic Regulator Act, the Electricity Supply Industry Act 1995 provided for the Commissioner, within the meaning of the Government Prices Oversight Act 1995 , to be the Regulator. The Water and Sewerage Industry Act 2008 also provided for the Commissioner to be the Water and Sewerage Economic Regulator. The Commissioner/Regulator was also appointed as the Director of Gas for the purposes of the Gas Act 2000 and Gas Pipelines Act 2000. For simplicity, the Commissioner/Director of Gas/Regulator undertook his functions under the title of Tasmanian Economic Regulator.
The last Government Prices Oversight Commissioner, Mr Glenn Appleyard, was appointed by the Treasurer on 24 November 2008, succeeding Mr Andrew Reeves in that position. The Minister for Energy appointed Mr Appleyard as Director of Gas on 27 November 2008. More information on GPOC can be found at the GPOC website: www.gpoc.tas.gov.au.
2015-16 Operating Plan
The Operating Plan is the primary planning tool for OTTER and is the means by which OTTER ensures that its activities are focussed on supporting the Regulator in achieving its objectives. The key initiatives and tasks for OTTER in 2015-16 are detailed in this document.
Independence of the Regulator
The Regulator has a duty of administrative fairness and must not unfairly discriminate between service providers, customers or other persons. The Regulator is within the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman.
The Regulator is independent and is not subject to Ministerial Direction in carrying out its functions under the ESI Act and the WSI Act. However, the Gas Act provides for the Minister to give directions to the Regulator with respect to the carrying out of its functions and powers, except in the consideration and issue of a licence.
The Minister may request that the Regulator report matters as and when required by the Minister. The Regulator also has a statutory duty to preserve the confidentiality of certain information.
Public Interest Disclosure
OTTER staff are Department of Treasury and Finance employees and support the Regulator in undertaking its functions.
Public bodies such as the Regulator are required by the Public Interest Disclosures Act 2002 to publish procedures for the disclosure and investigation of improper conduct or detrimental action by public bodies or public officers. In response, the Regulator has established the following procedures.
The Department of Treasury and Finance (Department) has also established procedures for reporting disclosures of improper conduct or detrimental action by the Department or its employees. To make a disclosure about the improper conduct of public officers click here.
Right to Information
The Regulator is required by the Right to Information Act 2009 to publish information and procedures for the disclosure of information. More information can be found on OTTER's Right to Information page.
If a customer is dissatisfied with the way a complaint has been handled by an electricity, gas, water, or sewerage entity, a complaint may be lodged with the Ombudsman. The Energy Ombudsman Act 1998 provides that the Ombudsman receive, investigate and resolve complaints concerning any service of, or relating to the sale and supply of gas or electricity by, an energy entity. In relation to the water and sewerage industry, the Ombudsman Act 1978 provides that the Ombudsman initiates, investigates and resolves complaints concerning the provision of regulated water and sewerage services.
The Regulator has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ombudsman. The Memorandum provides that the Ombudsman make available to the Regulator information regarding any systemic issues identified in relation to industry compliance with the various regulatory instruments.