Ward’s Council roundtable on poles and wires sale is a joke


Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson today slammed a roundtable convened by Member for Kiama Gareth Ward for local Councils to discuss the State Government’s plans to sell off poles and wires as con job.

“Mr Ward is trying desperately to salvage what little credibility he can after Labor revealed last week that the entire Wollongong local government area would be excluded from the State Government’s proposed NSW Restart Regional Investment Fund.

“My electorate boundaries are no better example of the utter hopelessness of the State Government’s plans.

“All of Dapto, West Dapto, Tallawarra and Yallah are completely ruled out of the planned regional fund proposed by the State Government.

“But theoretically all of Shellharbour City would be eligible for the planned regional fund.

“Wollongong local government area will be forced to compete with Sydney, Western Sydney and Newcastle for funds under the State Government’s plans to sell off poles and wires, while Shellharbour City will be forced to compete with the rest of regional New South Wales, including National Party seats, where the State Government is actually keeping poles and wires in public ownership.

“These proposed funds by the NSW Liberals are an attempt to soften up the business community and other interest groups so they agree to sell-off power in NSW.

“These little sessions are a con job and any Mayor participating in it should be aware of it.

“We need to look at no better example of just how short-changed the Illawarra region will be under the proposal to sell off poles and wires than the sale of Port Kembla announced two years ago.

“We got a dud deal and a miserable $100 million, which even the NRMA has described as a ‘pittance’”, she said.

Ms Watson said that power prices in the Illawarra region had increased by 35 per cent since the State election in March 2011.

4 September 2014