Friday, 27 March 2015

NSW State Election 2015: Not happy, Mike!

Letter to the Editor in The Northern Star, 24 March 2015:

Poles apart

The NSW Lib/Nat state government wants to privatise the electricity network by leasing the distribution network for 99 years.

Most NSW residents will therefore never again see it in public hands and when the lease expires in 2114 it would probably get renewed for another 99 years meaning it will never return to public ownership.

The state will not benefit financially for another 99 years after blowing the original booty on a stack of hasty re-election promises.

As with all privatisation of the people's assets, staff are sacked, service declines and prices rise, just look to Telstra.

When Telstra was in government hands they were Australia's biggest employer and there were works yards in every town with trucks, tractors and local qualified Telstra linesmen ready to attend promptly to faults and new installations.

Now that is all gone, mostly contractors do the work, employment and training of school leavers has all but stopped, service doesn't exist and prices have risen.

The NSW Lib/Nat government claims we will not be affected on the Far North Coast, however Transgrid which supplies most of our power from the high voltage distribution network will be 100% privatised.

Maybe when the electricity prices go up we can resort to using the methane bubbling out of the ground for heating and cooking once the government covers our land in leaking CSG wells.

Meerschaum Vale

Letter to the Editor in The Daily Examiner, 25 March 2015:
MP loses trust
BEFORE you vote remember that once the electricity network is sold off it's gone for good, and no amount of bleating from our ineffective member Chris Gulaptis is going to get it back or stop the Sydney-based liberals selling off Essential Energy at a latter date.
This is the same member for Clarence who had to clarify with his party who he represented over the closing of the Grafton goal, i.e. his party or the people who elected him.
How can he be trusted to look after his electorate?
How can he be trusted again?
Paul Macdermott

Letter to the Editor in The Northern Star, 25 March 2015:

Poles an asset

Why sell a publicly owned monopoly guaranteeing a $1.7 billion return every year?
Privatising publicly owned utilities like electricity assets and water supplies puts states at risk of being held to ransom, especially if foreign owned (e.g., South Australian electricity assets are Chinese owned). There is significant foreign interest in our electricity assets. How simple to cripple a state by turning off the electricity supply.
The $20 billion from leasing these assets is illusory. In truth the NSW public sector's net financial worth will be substantially reduce adding $1-2 billion annually to the budget deficit, weakening the state's financial position.
It displays the worst features of past privatisations of public assets with the financial loss at the top end of the range of past ventures. 'Asset recycling' won't occur as non-income generating assets - hospitals, schools, roads - will replace an asset generating income.
The claim that 49% of the poles and wires will be leased is very misleading. One hundred per cent of Transgrid and 50.4% of both Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy will be privatised representing about 67% of electricity assets, not the 49% oft quoted by the coalition. Government will lose control over the underlying infrastructure.
Who wants a Premier with only a Plan A or a government that deceives the electorate for political gain?

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