The Central Coast does not appear to be getting its fair share of the $16.18 billion dollars raised by the NSW Government’s 99- year lease of half of Ausgrid, according to the region’s Labor Opposition MPs.
According to Shadow Minister for the Central Coast, Mr David Harris, in the fi rst round of job cuts leading to privatization, about 10 per cent of Central Coast Ausgrid workers lost their jobs. “Local Labor MP’s are concerned that this isn’t the only way the sale of Ausgrid by the Baird Government is letting the Coast down,” Mr Harris said. “There is a list of delayed and long awaited projects on the Central Coast that could be funded from the $16 billion from the asset sale. In the Gosford City area, according to Mr Harris, those unfunded projects include making the acknowledged black spot Langford Dve intersection at Kariong safe. Extra car spaces at Gosford train station should be another spending priority. The promised upgrade of the intersection of Empire Bay Dve, Scenic Rd and Cochrane St in Kincumber also deserved a slice of the funding pie, he said. “Higher power prices, less jobs and a backlog of infrastructure not being built, what’s the benefi t for Central Coast residents?” Mr Harris asked. “The Central Coast is roughly fi ve per cent of the state’s population, fi ve per cent of this sale price alone is $800 million. “Locals have a right to be angry, we have had among the most job losses due to this sale and yet, we don’t get our fair share of infrastructure funding,” he said. The Member for Terrigal, Mr Adam Crouch, said the NSW Government had achieved another outstanding result in its infrastructure program by entering into a binding agreement with an allAustralian consortium for the partial lease of Ausgrid.
“The transaction will deliver $16.2 billion to the State and will help fund critical infrastructure projects as part of our $20 billion Rebuilding NSW plan,” Mr Crouch said. “This follows our successful $10.258 billion lease of TransGrid. “As the NSW Liberals and Nationals promised at the election, our poles and wires transactions are unlocking billions of dollars to fund new schools, hospitals, public transport and roads that will make a real difference to peoples’ lives. “The successful unsolicited proposal was by all-Australian firms, IFM Investors and AustralianSuper, and was thoroughly assessed by government agencies and financial advisers within the strictest probity requirements.
“The Price Commissioner, Professor Allan Fels AO, has signed off on the Ausgrid transaction. “The consortium has also signed the Electricity Prices Guarantee which confirms total Ausgrid network charges will be lower in 2019 than they were in 2014. “The NSW Government will retain 49.6 per cent of Ausgrid and will have an ongoing role as the lessor of the business and an investor.” Mr Crouch said a comprehensive list of unions was associated with the superannuation funds that invested in Ausgrid. “This is amazing, given the enormously expensive and dishonest scare campaign using union members’ funds regarding the lease that was run prior to the 2015 election. “If it was so bad, how can you then invest in it?
“This question needs to be put to all the Labor members, both State and Federal, on the Central Coast, as they all participated in the scare campaign.” According to Mr Crouch, the unions who’ve now invested in Ausgrid are: Australian Council of Trade Unions; United Voice; Australian Workers Union; Australian Manufacturing Workers Union; Electrical Trade Union (ETU); Transport Workers Union (TWU); Australian Services Union (ASU); Unions NSW; Maritime Union of Australia; SA Unions; Health and Community Services Union; Health Services Union; Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (Victorian Branch); Communication, Electrical and Plumbing Union; Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union; NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association; National Union of Workers; Independent Education Union; National Tertiary Education Union; and, the Queensland Council of Unions.
Media release, Oct 24, 2016 Zachary Harrison, offi ce of David Harris Email, Oct 21, 2016 Adam Crouch, Member for Terrigal Jackie Pearson, journalist