Friday, 27 March 2015

Not impressed by Liberal-Nationals plan to privatise NSW electricity networks across the NSW Northern Rivers

Letters to the Editor in The Daily Examiner on 23 March 2015: 

Whole truth 

On March 15, NSW Nationals Leader Troy Grant was quoted in the national media as stating of the Baird Government's electricity privatisation plan that: "Country poles and wires will remain 100 per cent in public hands".

On June 13, 2014, the Member for Clarence, Chris Gulaptis, was quoted in The Daily Examiner: "With Essential Energy exempt from the deal it will remain in public hands and retain control of the poles and lines".

Both politicians are not being as truthful as they could be.

Power to businesses and homes on the NSW North Coast does not just magically flow from Essential Energy.

What Grant and Gulaptis are not saying is that an estimated 12,700km of high voltage transmission lines and 94 substations which criss-cross the state are part of the state-owned Transgrid network and these will be offered for sale with a price tag in the billions for the 99-year lease. Transgrid's transmission lines supply electricity to "electricity distributors such as AusGrid, Essential Energy and Endeavour Energy" [, March 2015].

In other words, the main conveyer of power to regional electricity networks in the Clarence, Richmond, Brunswick and Tweed valleys will be effectively sold-off if National Party candidates standing in the Clarence, Lismore, Ballina and Tweed electorates succeed in winning these seats on March 28.

This will eventually translate into price increases for local business and residential users, because a privatised Transgrid will not absorb the future cost of infrastructure maintenance/replacement and will pass this cost through to Essential Energy in its contract rate [TransGrid's Transmission Prices July 1 2014 to June 30 2015].

Judith M. Melville

People to pay

Regarding Brian Haselum's letter (March 18), I believe the proceeds from the privatisation of our electricity is to be spent on new infrastructure.

This will result in a shortfall of the State Government's income by around $1.7 billion per annum.

Whether it is electricity prices that go up or something else, it will be the people of NSW who will have pay for the Government's annual shortfall.

People should keep this in mind when they vote on the 28th.

Trevor West
South Grafton

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