NSW Greens Media Release: 26 July 2008
It's time for NSW Premier Morris Iemma to admit that the Rudd government's emissions trading scheme combined with widespread community opposition has fatally damaged his plans to privatise the state's electricity industry, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.
Commenting on a story on page 8 of today's Australian ('Iemma admits to sell-off doubt'), Dr Kaye said: "Morris Iemma is causing havoc in NSW's power industry in a futile attempt to position it for a sell-off that is increasingly unlikely to receive parliamentary approval.
"Pushing administrative staff out of state-owned retailer Integral Energy into generator Eraring could prove to be an expensive and disruptive political stunt.
"Given yesterday's report that 25 percent of the nation's coal-fired power generators will be forced out of business by the Commonwealth government's emissions trading scheme, NSW Coalition leader Barry O'Farrell will have little choice but to oppose the sell-off legislation when it come to parliament in late September.
"The news will have caused the sale value of NSW's three generator companies to have plummeted.
"Neither government nor Opposition can pretend that there is any financial benefit in the privatisation.
"Meanwhile, voters are increasingly focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and controlling rising household electricity bills.
"On both counts, the sell-off is bad deal.
"The political window of opportunity for the privatisation is slamming shut.
"The Premier should listen to his backbenchers, put his Treasurer Michael Costa on a tighter leash and abandon the power sell-off," Dr Kaye said.
For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455
See also: ABC gives free kick to Iemma, NSW electricity privatisation of 21 Jul 08.