Monday, 15 April 2013

O'Farrell Liberals sell off the family silver in a move that could send petrol prices soaring for families

The O’Farrell Government’s decision to sell off Port Botany and Port Kembla could send petrol prices soaring – with the money raised just a drop in the ocean when it comes to building major projects like the WestConnex.

“The O’Farrell Government has sold off the family silver,” Shadow Treasurer Michael Daley said today.

“The Government promised it wouldn’t sell off our public ports at the election because they knew it wasn’t in the long term interests of NSW, but they have done it anyway.

“Industry has already warned petrol and LPG prices could soar under the privatisation of the ports because new fees and charges will be imposed by the private operator.

“Under the O'Farrell Government's legislation to privatise Port Botany and Port Kembla, the new monopoly operators will have the power to impose unlimited rents and charges on companies responsible for importing, transporting and distributing petrol, gas and jet fuel from Australia's major port.”

Industry has warned the O'Farrell Government's privatisation will lead to:

"Raising petrol and jet fuel prices across NSW, due to the impact on storage and transportation costs of independent retailers, distributors and importers of petrol, diesel and jet fuel."
(Letter from the primary users of Port Botany, 23 October 2012)

“The money raised by this dual privatisation is a drop in the ocean when it comes to the infrastructure needs of NSW,” Mr Daley said.

“Putting just $1.8 billion into what could be a $15-$20 billion WestConnex project isn’t going to see this project built anytime soon for the motorists of Sydney.

“To fatten up the port for sale, the government has also removed the cap on the number of components that can move through the port each year. This will mean a massive increase in trucks in and around Port Botany and the airport.

“With no money being invested in improving rail infrastructure, the roads will become choked costing the state millions in productivity each year.”

Shadow Minister for Ports, Ron Hoenig said: "Barry O'Farrell's decision to flog off our public ports to the private sector comes at the expense of families and businesses who will all be hit with higher petrol and gas prices.”

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