Wednesday, 11 June 2014

NSW National Party must look after regional interests in proposed energy infrastructure sell-off, says Greens

Since Mike Baird became NSW Premier further privatisation of the state's energy infrastructure is back on the political agenda.

Recognising that they have been asleep at the wheel since the last state election and, realising that the next is less a year away, the North Coast Nationals woke and began to weakly posture for the voters' benefit.

This week the NSW Greens re-entered the fray:

Media Release Wednesday June 10
Wires and poles; the National Party must look after regional interests

Carol Vernon, Greens candidate in Oxley said:

"We await the results of today's cross party meeting between the Liberal party and their coalition partners, The Nationals.

"Will Premier Mike Baird and the Liberals convince the Nationals to go along with their plan to sell or lease the state owned wires and poles?

"Already Andrew Stoner seems convinced, however, some National Party members are holding out. Will their resolution fade under Liberal Party pressure, as it usually does?

"Long term leasing of the poles and wires is privatisation by another name with the same impacts on household power bills, jobs and the state's economy.

"Either way, Premier Mike Baird wants to cash in the goose that lays the golden eggs.

"The wires and poles provide $1 billion in dividends and another $500 million in tax equivalent payments each year to the state.

Carol Vernon said:

"Premier Baird is being deceptive when he compares NSW electricity prices with other states that have not invested as much in infrastructure. He cannot validly argue that prices will fall with privatisation.

"This is just a ploy and we will soon pay more as private companies pursue their main goal, that is to make profits, even at the expense of infrastructure maintenance and quality services.

"Once again regional NSW energy users, especially local business, will pay more.

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