Business

Power jobs in jeopardy

Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis
Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis Adam Hourigan

THE battle over poles and wires has ignited with the release of the State Government's Audit Report recommending full electricity privatisation.

The Commission of Audit, released earlier this week, made 132 recommendations to improve public sector management and service delivery in NSW across a whole range of areas.

While Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis said not all of the recommendations will be adopted, the Electrical Trades Union stressed it will "vigorously fight" any proposal to privatise the service.

"The O'Farrell Government's Commission of Audit makes a number of recommendations, including further examining the prospect of full electricity privati- sation in NSW," ETU secretary Steve Butler said.

"Only last week the NSW En-ergy Minister admitted that the publicly owned electricity network delivers vital funding to the NSW Government to help fund other public services including police, hospitals and schools. This vital funding will be lost to a private company if the O'Farrell Government proceeds with electricity privatisation."

The local electrical network in the Clarence Valley is owned and serviced by Essential Energy and employs 221 people across four depots in Grafton, Casino, Woodburn and Maclean.

"Many pundits like to blame high electricity prices on our network infrastructure, however the fact remains that prices are set by way of regulation controlled by the NSW Government including reliability standards and government pricing regulations delivered by IPART," Mr Butler said.

"These government-set regu-lations guarantee a return on investment to the publicly owned electricity companies rather than the best deal for consumers.

"The thing about the electricity network is that there is only one set of poles and wires so there cannot be any competition - it is a natural monopoly."

Mr Gulaptis yesterday stuck to the line that the Premier "has repeatedly stated that the Government has no mandate to privatise poles and wires".

"As Member for Clarence, I fully support this position," Mr Gulaptis said.

Topics:  jobs, state government



Stay Connected

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

Tribute from one John to another

IN MEMORY: Australian actor/musician John Waters and esteemed singer/pianist Stewart D’Arrietta will bring Lennon: Through a Glass Onion to Twin Towns Services Club in June.

John Waters pays tribute to Lennon's legacy

Greens promise big boost for Tweed Hospital

Greens candidate Dawn Walker

Greens boost for hospital funding

Remembering Katie’s ‘crazy rollercoaster ride’ life

Six hundred mourners turned out to farewell Katie Bain, who lost her battle with bowel cancer on May 19.

600 hundred mourners farewell 27-year-old

Latest deals and offers

Perfect time to invest in Northern Rivers property

The Northern Rivers rental market is tighter than Sydney making it the perfect time for investors to get better returns out of property than superannuation or banks deposits.

Low interest rates and tight rental market are prime time to invest