Upper House short circuit for NSW power sell-off
The New South Wales Government’s plans to sell the state’s electricity generators have come unstuck in the Upper House.
Premier Barry O’Farrell announced in November last year that NSW generator assets would be sold, along with the Cobbora coal mine and land set aside for future power stations.
The money had been earmarked for investment into critical infrastructure.
Legislation for the privatisation passed the NSW Lower House in March, but debate was adjourned in the Upper House shortly after it had its first reading.
Labor and the Greens are adamant they will not support the sell-off.
To get through Parliament the legislation needs the support of the Shooters and Fishers and Christian Democrats parties.
But earlier this month the Coalition angered the Shooters MPs by bringing on a bill to restrict the sale of ammunition.
Greens MP John Kaye says the Government should admit defeat.
“Two months on the notice paper of the Upper House and no progress. The Government needs to admit the obvious – this bill is going nowhere,” Dr Kaye said.
“They need to back off from electricity privatisation and get on with the business of managing a publicly owned electricity industry.
“Mr O’Farrell needs to understand that he was elected because his predecessors made a mess of electricity privatisation. He needs to get right away from it.”
A senior Government spokesman was unable to say when debate on the bill would resume.
The Government has said it has no plans to sell the electricity transmission network of poles and wire.