Mood: accident prone
Topic: nsw govt
Keating confused on power sell-off facts
Media Release: 6 May 2008
Former Prime Minister Paul Keating’s attempt at defending the privatisation of NSW’s electricity industry is based on a number of incorrect and misleading assertions, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.
Dr Kaye said: "Labor MPs should not be intimidated by Mr Keating’s self-confidence or his use of colourful epithets.
"He has displayed a remarkable level of ignorance of the NSW power sector.
"Writing in today’s Sydney Morning Herald, Mr Keating asserts that value of the power stations was $35 billion in 1997 when former Premier Carr and his Treasurer Michael Egan tried to privatise them.
"In fact this was the estimated income from the sale of the entire industry, including the wires and poles of the distributors and the transmission system.
"Comparing this to the alleged $15 billion price tag for the current proposal which does not include any of the transmission or distribution hardware is deeply misleading.
"Mr Keating has conveniently ignored the billions of dollars in the low and high voltage network that then Premier Carr wanted to sell off and was included in the $35 billion price tag.
"He has wiped out the value of 12,440 km of high voltage transmission lines owned by Transgrid.
"He has written down to zero the $10.9 billion assets of the state’s electricity distributors, including 2.2 million power poles and the 169 thousand substations.
"The former Prime Minister also alleges that much of NSW electricity is provided by private generation in other states.
"Again he is woefully ignorant of reality. The total import was just over 10% of the state’s needs in the last financial year.
"Paul Keating might well resort to name calling and personal denigration of those he does not agree with, but he should check his facts first.
"Mr Keating’s fundamental errors are cause for concern given his role with Lazard Carnegie Wylie who are supplying advice to the Iemma government on the sell-off," Dr Kaye said.
For more information: John Kaye 0407 …. ….