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JULIA FINN
Labor Candidate for NSW Electorate of Granville

 

JAMES SHAW
Labor Candidate for NSW Electorate of Parramatta

 

SUSAI BENJAMIN
Labor Candidate for NSW Electorate of Seven Hills

 

MEDIA RELEASE

Thursday 20 November 2014

 

LABOR INTRODUCES LAW FOR A REFERENDUM TO BE HELD BEFORE OUR ELECTRICITY NETWORK IS PRIVATISED BY THE LIBERALS

 

Julia Finn, Labor Candidate for Granville, with colleagues James Shaw for Parramatta and Susai Benjamin for Seven Hills today challenged sitting members Tony Issa, Geoff Lee and David Elliott to support Labor’s legislation requiring the NSW Government to take the privatisation of electricity and water assets to voters through a referendum.

 

The bill – the State Energy and Water Utilities Protection (Referendum) Bill 2014 was introduced into the NSW Parliament by Labor and will ensure that our valuable electricity and water assets can’t be privatised without the approval of the majority of the people of NSW.

 

The Baird Liberal Government has said it plans to privatise our electricity poles and wires after the next election – something that will increase electricity prices for families and rob the state of over a billion dollars each year that funds infrastructure, hospitals and schools.

 

“There is only one way that the Liberals can claim they have a mandate for the privatisation of the state’s electricity network and that is through a dedicated referendum held outside of an election campaign,” said Julia Finn.

 

“The electricity network represents decades of public investment in infrastructure that returns over a billion dollars each year to pay for building and maintaining schools, hospitals, roads and pays the wages of teachers, nurses and police.

 

“These are valuable public assets and the future of these assets should be determined by the people of NSW through a referendum”, she said.

 

“Every poll commissioned has clearly shown the majority of the community oppose privatising these critical public assets.

 

“The public deserves the right to carefully scrutinise the Liberals’ plan to privatise the electricity network through a referendum process.

 

“There are many questions that need answers about the impact this privatisation will have on family energy bills, reliability of the network and the cost to the NSW Budget”, she said.

 

James Shaw added, “These are core public utilities and the consequence of privatising these assets is that the decision can really never be reversed.

 

“Once these assets are sold, they are gone - along with all the financial benefits to the people of NSW to pay for essential services like schools, hospitals and roads”, he said.

 

Susai Benjamin said, “The Auditor General confirmed last week that the state’s electricity assets return $1.7 billion to the NSW budget to fund essential infrastructure and services. Under the Liberals’ plan to privatise the assets, at least $1.2 billion in dividends and income would be handed over to a for profit private company each year.”

 

ENDS


 

Media contacts:

 

Julia Finn (Granville): David Voltz 0439 602 315


James Shaw (Parramatta):
0467 668 052


Susai Benjamin (Seven Hills):
Paul Murphy 0439 672 911