News

Electricity sell-off a sell-out of the people

Coffs Harbour member Andrew Fraser is against the proposed sale of the state’s electricity grid.
Coffs Harbour member Andrew Fraser is against the proposed sale of the state’s electricity grid. Craig Warhurst

MEMBER for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser says he's prepared to cross the floor over the Coalition's plans to privatise the state's electricity grid because he can't see the economic sense in a sell-off.

Warning that the move could cost the State Government at the next election, Mr Fraser says privatisation would see country consumers worse off and bring job cuts to energy suppliers. 

"Politically speaking there's no sense in the economics," Mr Fraser said.

"The electricity grid is valued at $30 billion and it's estimated the sale price could be $26 billion but the grid carries with it $18.6 billion in debt.

"With any sale the government would lose $3 billion in revenue each year, $1 billion from direct dividends and $2 billion in Federal government tax offsets.

"It would be a sale for no windfall gain whatsoever.

Mr Fraser says in the Coffs Harbour electorate there's widespread opposition to the privatisation plans.

"I'm hearing from people in the street that they don't support a sell-off so as the local member I'm adopting that stance," he said.

"Politically why would we take this to the election, at the 1999 election everyone said Bob Carr would lead a one-term government and the Libs policy was to privatise electricity and give $1000 back to the consumer and we got flogged at the polls.

"The people don't want to pay more under privatisation for an essential service."

Lobby group Stop the Sell Off, which staged a protest outside Mr Fraser's office last Thursday, was happy to hear of the local member's opposition to the plan.

"Every state that has allowed its electricity poles and wires to be privatised has seen prices rise, service standard drop, complaints soar, and quality local jobs lost," Stop the Sell Off campaign director Adam Kerslake said.

"If National Party MPs support even a partial privatisation of the NSW electricity network, they will be condemning regional NSW communities to that same fate."

Premier Mike Baird and Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner will gauge support for the proposal at party room meetings tomorrow.

It is anticipated the 49% privatisation could exclude Essential Energy and Transgrid which have large regional footprints.

The Nationals have even floated the suggestion of a referendum on the issue.  

Topics:  andrew fraser, mike baird, nsw government, privatisation



Dumping tosses costs on charities and rates

FED UP: Lifeline's warehouse manager Marc Hutchinson and retail co-ordinator Jo Anne Auston are frustrated at the amount of rubbish dumped at the Toormina store.

Dumping costs charities and Coffs Coasts rate payers

Big prize on offer for the healthiest school canteen

HOMEGROWN: Grade 6 "Ministers for Health” Maggie McConnachie and Amilia Roberts help school canteen manager Meba Winter in the school's vegetable garden.

The Coffs Coast Healthy Canteen Awards kick off next term

Emma Moffatt calls it a day

BOWING OUT: Triathlete Emma Moffatt racing during the triathlon at the recent Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Emma Moffatt calls time on a great Olympic distance triathlon career

Local Partners

MOVIE REVIEW: Storks delivers family fun

A scene from the movie Storks.

ANIMATION can be hit or miss but when it hits, it hits hard.

Nick 'the snake' to call the shots on Survivor jury

Australian Survivor contestant Nick Iadanza.

LATEST evictee is out of the game but will still have a say.

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber split

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber have split after 11 years together.

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

Testament's new album is a concept album

ROME, ITALY- JULY 27, 2016: Testament photographed at The Roman Collisseium in Rome, Italy on July 27,2016. Gene Ambo

Testament to release new album

'Baby' recreates famous Nirvana cover shot 25 years later

The baby from Nevermind album has recreated the iconic cover shot.

Spring property hard to find

SHORT ON SELLERS: Spring is yet to see the usual influx of vendors keen to sell.

Spring selling season off to a slow start

Coffs region is hot property

The region’s housing market is looking up, with projects on the radar in Tannum Sands and Boyne Island.

Units and houses are both pulling strong returns for Coffs

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction