Thursday, 31 July 2014

Electricity privatisation to hit Western Sydney Residents' power bills

Ron Hoenig MP with Labor's Prue Car (centered)  with local residents
The Labor Candidate for Londonderry Prue Car and I have today warned that families in Western Sydney will face rising power bills under Mike Baird’s plans to privatise our state’s electricity poles and wires.

Talking to local residents when visiting Claremont Meadows today with Labor's quality candidate for Londonderry Prue Car, I reminded Family electricity bills will skyrocket if the Liberals sell our state’s electricity network, and the state will lose over $1 billion each year as a result of the sale - money that is currently invested in infrastructure, hospitals, schools and emergency services.

Families in Western Sydney and across the state are already struggling due to cost of living increases under the Liberals – they simply can’t afford to pay more for electricity.

Make no mistake: Mike "the Merchant Banker" Baird’s plan to privatise our electricity network will hurt working families. Power prices will rise.

“If the Liberals think they can fool the people of NSW, they are plain wrong – everyone knows that no private company is going to spend billions of dollars buying the electricity network to lower electricity prices.

When the Liberals privatised electricity in South Australia, they promised lower energy bills – and now South Australia has the highest electricity prices in the country.

In a double whammy, from 1 July this year, electricity providers were also no longer subject to a cap on prices – as the Baird Liberal Government has removed the maximum amount retail electricity providers can charge.
Already power bills have risen by 42.6 per cent thanks to this Liberal government – and now power companies are free to charge whatever they like.

The Liberals say removing the power price cap will increase competition and drive prices down – but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The reality is regulation and price caps exist to protect consumers from power companies charging whatever they want.

Labor Candidate for Londonderry Prue Car said: “If Mike Baird thinks he can fool our community, he is wrong – a cap exists to limit the price a company can charge. Remove that cap, and there’s only one way electricity prices will go and that’s up.

“The last thing locals need is higher bills for essential utilities like power – but if our electricity poles and wires are sold off, everyone will pay more just to keep the heat on in winter.

“If our poles and wires are sold off, we’ll also lose the $1 billion that’s reinvested in infrastructure, teachers, nurses and police – yet Mike Baird hasn’t told us how he’ll replace that funding,” Ms Car said.

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