NSW Govt's continued focus on 'poles and wires' privatisation, locks out energy innovation

The confirmed sale of a majority stake in Endeavour Energy continues a failed economic, energy and climate strategy in NSW, according to the NSW Greens.

The Berejiklian Government’s crusade to privatise the poles and wires in NSW has reached a milestone with media reports of the sale of a 50.4 percent majority of NSW electricity distributor, Endeavour Energy.

The sale will see control of the energy distributor passing from public hands, sparking a loss of around $120 million per year in dividends to the NSW budget, increasing the drive to profit from regional communities and placing a barrier to energy innovation and renewable power.

NSW Greens Treasury spokesperson Justin Field said, “The take out lesson from changes in the national energy market in recent times has been privatisation of energy assets does not deliver better outcomes for electricity consumers, regional communities, state budgets or the environment.

“The Berejiklian Government finds itself at the control of the levers of energy policy at a time when we need urgent, strong action on climate mitigation and action. However, the NSW Government’s continued focus on the privatisation of our electricity network rather than the opportunities of transforming our energy system for a better future is the wrong approach and has been discredited.

“Rather than looking backwards and locking us into long-term leases with a largely coal focused electricity distribution network, our state should be investigating and investing in new forms of energy generation and distribution that will power the modern economy, including solar storage and community distributed energy and deliver real long-term economic benefits to NSW.

“The Federal Government’s Snowy 2.0 plan and offer to buyout NSW’s share of the Snowy Hydro scheme shows the dissonance in energy policy in Australia. On the one hand the Federal Government is making a public investment, on the other the NSW Government is continuing with its privatisation agenda despite obvious concerns over electricity market failures,” he said.

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