CON-sultation on poles & wires sell-off leaves Wollongong out in the cold


A consultation process on the State Government’s intention to sell-off electricity poles and wires has revealed that the Wollongong local government areas will be excluded from funding set aside for regional New South Wales, Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson, said today.

“The Premier has made a big deal about his intention to sell off poles and wires and indicated that 30 per cent of funding would be allocated to regional NSW.

“But Wollongong local government area has been excluded from the definition of the Illawarra region entirely.

“A number of the Illawarra’s civic and business leadership, who attended the consultation process this morning, have expressed their anger at Wollongong’s exclusion from the regional NSW component of the State Government’s plans.

“This con-sultation process was about softening up the Illawarra’s business community to support the sell-off of electricity in NSW.

“If the business leadership in Wollongong and the Illawarra fall for the con-job of the NSW Liberals, then they have rocks in their heads.

“They were sold-out on the State Government’s sell-off of the Port for a miserable $100 million, which two years on from the announcement, we are still to see a cent spent on any of the projects approved last December.

“The NSW Liberals are intending to blackmail the Illawarra community into either supporting the sell-off of electricity or not get infrastructure projects.

“Electricity prices have increased in the Illawarra by 35.1 per cent since March 2011 under the NSW Liberals.

“We were kicked in the guts as a region by the NSW Liberals when the region’s port was sold-off.

“Now the NSW Liberals are getting ready to kick us in the bum by excluding the region’s biggest local government area from their definition of the Illawarra region.

“This whole process is a con-job and a farce”, Ms Watson said.

Ms Watson attended the community consultation session held in Wollongong this morning.

Ms Watson’s electorate includes all of Wollongong LGA’s southern growth areas of Dapto, West Dapto, Yallah and Tallawarra.

See also: Page 9, Rebuilding NSW Discussion Paper, August 2014

27 August 2014