Shadow Minister for the Illawarra Ryan Park has welcomed the release of Labor’s fully-costed and fully-funded infrastructure plan that will invest in local infrastructure in the region without needing to privatise the electricity network.

Labor has today confirmed that the Illawarra will reserve an additional $280 million from the sale of Port Kembla on top of the existing $100 million the Liberals have promised in Labor’s new Illawarra Infrastructure Investment Fund.

Mr Park said the Illawarra would also be eligible for funding from Labor’s health and education; roads; and arts, culture and sports funds.

“A NSW Labor Government will return a fairer share of money to the Illawarra to be invested in local infrastructure and we will do it without having to privatise the electricity network,” Mr Park said.

“Labor is making modest commitments with the right priorities funded by proven and reliable sources of funds.

“The Illawarra has been short-changed by Mike Baird and the Liberals who sold our port and took the lion’s share back to Sydney’s northern beaches – Labor will return what we fairly deserve to fund the infrastructure we need.

“A Labor Government will reserve $380 million in the Illawarra Infrastructure Investment Fund – half the proceeds from the sale of Port Kembla – with more to potentially flow to the region from the health and education, roads, and arts, culture & sports funds.

“Electricity privatisation means higher electricity bills and ripping funding away from schools and hospitals when Mike Baird hands over the dividends to a private company.

Member for Wollongong Noreen Hay said: “The Illawarra community does not want to see our electricity network privatised – under Labor it will stay in public hands and we will fund infrastructure without privatisation.”

“We’ve had four years of neglect under the Liberals – it will be four years of construction under a Labor Government.”

Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson added: “Labor’s Illawarra Infrastructure Investment Fund represented a new opportunity to build essential infrastructure for which the region has been long advocating.

“Privatisation of the electricity network is a dud deal for NSW and it is certainly a dud deal for the Illawarra.”


19 February 2015