It’s June 2015 and in New South Wales it must surely be the winter of our discontent. But it’s not the sudden cold snap. It is the joint privatisation of the people’s electricity assets by NSW Premier Mike Baird’s Government, in which he has no right to sell.
The people’s energy assets represent vital/critical infrastructure. We can’t function as a society without power, lighting, heating. Critical public infrastructure must be kept in public hands and under direct control of Australian governments.
Baird’s Hard Right faction, in cahoots with Nile’s Christian Right and Labor Right, are set to jointly sell off the people’s electricity poles and wires to foreign multinationals for a quarter their value. It is so that foreigners may profit from ordinary Australians dependency on local electricity.
And increase prices they shall! The only glorious summer will be for the new foreign owners gouging higher and higher electricity prices out of NSW residents and businesses who will be forced to paying a premium to keep cool over summer.
The Electrical Trades Union is right on this one
So in the first week of winter last week, the Baird Government has decided to lease a 49% share in the people’s electricity infrastructure for 99 years. To sale price? $20 billion, which sounds a lot but this is not even a quarter of the value. Once sold, the electricity revenues to the NSW Government will be forgone by at least $1.7 billion a year.
You don’t have to be too clever to sell other people’s wealth to fund your own pet projects. Baird claims a public mandate to privatise the state;s electricity after winning the 2015 NSW election, but it was more a case of Labor losing the election. So now, Baird is set to flog off half of the poles and wires of our state’s distributors AusGrid, Endeavour Energy, and 100% of TransGrid.
Partial Leasing is only the first phase of the 100% sell off wedge
AusGrid supplies 1.6 million retail electricity consumers in the Sydney, Central Coast, Hunter and Newcastle regions of NSW. AusGrid has a regulated asset base of AUD 14.6 billion across its distribution assets that is expected to realise some AUD 2.21 billion in revenue in the 2014/15 financial year. AusGrid owns roughly 42,000 km of distribution lines and is capable of meeting peak demand of 5,149 MW.
Endeavour Energy supplies 883,000 retail electricity consumers in western Sydney and the Illawarra regions of NSW. It has a regulated asset base of AUD 5.6 billion across its distribution assets that is expected to realise some AUD 949 million billion in revenue in the 2014/15 financial year. Endeavour owns roughly 34,500 km of distribution lines and is capable of meeting peak demand of 3,236 MW.
TransGrid is a wholesale owner, operator and manager of much of the NSW high voltage network connecting generators, distributors and major end users in NSW and the ACT. TransGrid’s network is interconnected to Queensland and Victoria, providing a strong electricity system that makes interstate energy trading possible. Electricity is generated at power stations then transmitted by our network through 12,656 kilometres of high voltage transmission lines and underground cables, along with 91 substations. The electricity is finally delivered to homes, factories and businesses by electricity distributors such as AusGrid, Essential Energy and Endeavour Energy.
Transgrid has a regulated asset base of AUD 6.1 billion that is expected to realise AUD 845 million in annual revenue next financial year. TransGrid owns roughly 14,000 km of transmission lines in NSW and transmits 71 GWh of electricity per annum over those lines.
Those set to benefit are the foreign multinationals ready to make the purchase of the poles and wires, but more vocally the corporations frothing at reaping Baird’s infrastructure spend of $20 billion, like Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA), which donates to the Liberal Party..
Infrastructure Partnerships Australia is black and white in its justification for the assets sale. Massive immigration is year on year compounding congestion on Sydney’s arterial roads and public transport and overflowing hospital waiting lists.
IPA CEO Brendan Lyon:
“NSW’s population is growing by 2,000 people every week. More people means more demand for public transport, roads, freight, electricity, water and hospitals. Most of Sydney’s railway lines are already packed, reaching more than 160 per cent of capacity during the morning peak. Everyone can see that our public infrastructure and services are struggling under the weight of a growing population. This year, road congestion in Sydney will cost the economy more than $6 billion…Sydney’s road congestion is not only the worst in Australia/New Zealand; it’s bad by global standards. Sydney’s traffic congestion is as bad as Los Angeles, a city with a population four times Sydney’s.”
“Sydney has to get bigger”
Hello! Sydney has an over-demand problem, not a supply problem.
Yet Infrastructure Partnerships Australia claims that the only way to alleviate these growing population demand pressures is to spend on increasing supply of public infrastructure.
- Any talk of curbing unsustainable immigration is a problem IPA conspicuously avoids – more people, means more development and so more business for its member corporations.
- Any talk of ordinary Australians retaining affordable energy costs IPA conspicuously avoids.
Not surprisingly, Brendan Lyon, is an ex-Liberal staffer. Since 2011, he and Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, have been lobbying his NSW Liberal mates to undertake large-scale asset privatisation, contract out buses and ferries and deliver significant cuts in conditions, wages and jobs in the public sector.
Meanwhile IPA donates to the NSW Liberal Party. Similar corporate support comes from the NSW Business Chamber, The Australian Property Institute and Urban Taskforce Australia.
It’s an ongoing corrupt political process of big business telling the Liberals what to do, and the National lap dogs just stay quiet, while regional NSW (the bush) are ignored, denied funding and treated like second class citizens.
If Barry O’Farrell was a bought puppet of corporate Sydney, his replacement Mike Baird comes from corporate Sydney. Baird is their plant.
Ex-Merchant Banking Premier, Mike Baird, wants to use the $20 billion to build more infrastructure capacity not for regional New South Wales, but for his Sydney-centric mindset so that they will come – the middle class Chinese!
Baird wants a global Sydney. He wants a WestConnex extension to the M4 motorway to grow western Sydney full of immigrants. He wants an additional rail tunnel under Sydney Harbour to help grow Chinese Chatwood with highrise commuters to Sydney CBD. Baird wants $2 billion for new immigrant schools and immigrant hospitals (Sydney only thank you).
The development beneficiaries are all Baird’s corporate banking mates include the likes of Grocon, Meriton, Mirvac, Crown Grouip, Landmark Group, Stockland, Gazcorp, Anglo American, Acciona Infrastructure Australia, Obayashi Corporation, McConnell Dowell Constructors, Lend Lease, Thiess, Samsung John Holland,amongst others.
But then he says we can impose and settle 30,000 asylum seekers across regional New South Wales and to facilitate this he will give long-neglected regional NSW $6 billion for investments in hospitals and roads.
We say the ‘sale’ is a type of treason which places a key asset into the hands of foreigners, particularly the Chinese superpower.
But for now we are concerned with the political frauds engaged in by the various parties to arrive at this result.
The Labor Party campaigned in the recent election in that State against the sale. In Parliament a couple of days ago, it jumped about and made noises and voted against the sale. However, we could bet safely that when the next State election comes around in New South Wales, the matter will be forgotten and the Laborites will not demand the repudiation of the contract. Naturally – because Labor has always essentially supported the premise that globalising Australian assets is positive.
Liberal and Labor share the same policies – like privatisation
Labor’s Shadow Treasurer Michael Daley is a fickle as the wind hypocrite of the first order. He will say anything to get attention. Labor’s opposition to electricity privatisation is token mealy mouthing. Daley was part of the Keneally Labor Government, who on 14 December 2010 sold the first tranche of the partial privatisation of the state’s electricity assets for $5.3 billion.
In 2008, Labor’s Iemma Government was hell-bent on privatising the state’s electricity industry claiming it to be “the most important micro-economic reform in this state in decades”, despite Iemma’s pre-election assurances that he would never privatise electricity, and despite the NSW ALP conference voting 702 to 107 against the privatisation.
Labor’s Kevin Rudd, Bob Hawke, Paul Keating, Morris Iemma, Bob Carr and Martin Ferguson have all supported what they euphemistically brand “reform” of the electricity grid, somehow is because it’s in the interests of consumers, and the state.
Labor lies whatever it takes.
The neoliberal policies of Labor (economic rationalism, privatization, fiscal austerity, deregulation, free trade) are the same as the Liberals. That is why corporates hedge their bets by donating to both Labor and Liberal.
The Christian Democratic Party (CDP) also campaigned in the recent New South Wales election against the electricity sale. In Parliament, after moving a few amendments to the government’s bill, they helped to secure the passage of the law of sale. Why should we have expected any different? The CDP is a satellite of the Liberal Party. Its pseudo-patriotism is a device to lead well-meaning people nowhere.
Fred Nile does a GST-Democrat betrayal
We also comment on the so-called ‘Hard Right’ of the New South Wales Liberal Party. No one there bucked the law. We mention them because these fraudsters have crossed our path in struggle over the last two to three years. These Liberals were shown by us to have sought to destroy heritage in the Hawkesbury area while posing as critics of the Mosques’ building exercises in Penrith. Contradictory?
The ‘Hard Right’ even sought to con a few political novices that they were almost ‘fascist’ in their dedication to the defence of the Australian identity, particularly in Penrith.. Their lying knows no bounds. Selling an essential asset to an agent of the Chinese superpower and other foreign interests helps to show where they are at. There is no nationalism or patriotism there. For sure they’ll be saying that this was just a trick and when they take over the Liberal Party (next decade?), the vote will be reversed.
Australia First Party repudiates the sale of all things Australian to any multinational, global bank or alien interest. These assets would be subject to nationalization upon our political victory.