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



Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'My husband lasted 6 weeks as a stay at home dad'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images. Katie Dykes being interviewed for the webisodes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

FROM the outside, being a stay at home mum looks like a breeze.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

OPINION: How to prepare your child for day care

Your kids will love childcare, but it may take some adjusting.

GETTING your child ready for day care is vital.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Manslaughter accused in court

Coffs Harbour Court House.

Manslaughter accused Tyson Egan appeared in court today

Offer rejected for prime Jetty property

STILL FOR SALE: An offer of $2.25 million has been rejected for the Forestry Corporation’s Coffs Harbour headquarters.

Offer rejected for prime Jetty real estate

Road through Pioneer Park fast-tracked

PRIORITISED: The Duke St extension through Pioneer Park has been pushed forward by Coffs Harbour City Council to alleviate traffic congestion caused by the Harbour Dr/ Gordon St intersection.

Road through Pioneer Park fast-tracked

Latest deals and offers

Ernie Els dunks for eagle

Smooth swing, great shot.

Ernie Els lives up to his reputation for one of the best swings in golf.

Jay Leno in spectacular rollover

Car flips after wheelie stunt.

Jay Leno gets more than he expected when he rides along in a 2500 HP Barracuda.

John Oliver on Brexit

John Oliver tries to explain the Brexit result.

John Oliver explains the fallout from Brexit on Last Week Tonight.

Prominent Coffs Harbour beach resort listed for sale

The Aanuka Beach Resort has been listed for sale

Aanuka Beach Resort, without its accommodation component, up for sale

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%