An Australian federal court upheld a Determination by the Administrator of Christmas Island setting the fees chargeable for use of electricity on the Island. Phosphate Resources, a major user of electricity on the Island challenged one of the purposes of the Determination – compelling large users of electricity such as Phosphate to examine alternative options for power generation as part of an effort to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. The court held that if the Administrator expressly took into account the reduction of GHG emissions as a factor in setting the electricity fees on the Island, it is a legitimate public policy objective.
At Issue: Whether the determination of the fees, upon which the charges to it were based, was invalid. As an interlocutory measure it has sought extensive discovery going to the costs of supplying electricity in the Territory. The question whether such discovery should be ordered depends ultimately upon the construction of the Ordinance. In particular it depends upon whether it is necessary in deciding upon the validity of the determination, to know what were the actual costs of supply to the relevant users in the period for which charges based upon that determination were raised.
|03/11/2004||Decision||Download||No summary available.|