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Labor Refuses to Rule Out Privatising TasNetworks

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Tags: Renewable Energy, Infrastructure, Privatisation, Public Assets, TasNetworks

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens’ Energy spokesperson

This morning on ABC Radio, Labor’s Michelle O’Byrne refused to take the sale of TasNetworks ‘off the table’, in a short-sighted attempt to fund possible election commitments.

Electricity is an essential service. The Tasmanian Government has an obligation to provide the infrastructure needed to deliver that electricity at the lowest possible cost.

Many other states have sold off their electricity utilities, promising cheaper electricity and better delivery.  In every case, those promises have proven false.

NSW, Victoria, and South Australia used to have some of the cheapest electricity in the world, but since privatisation, are among the most expensive.  In those states, there are growing calls to return their grids to public ownership.

Publicly-owned electricity grids are the only way governments can cap costs, keep energy competitive and manage the country’s energy crisis. 

Labor is opening the door to a fire sale privatisation of TasNetworks to free up an election slush fund, which is irresponsible and would cost Tasmanians dearly in the long run.  The experience from other states shows the short-term financial gain of selling TasNetworks would soon be squandered, with Tasmanians in the near future paying the price through higher power bills.

TasNetworks must stay in public hands, and keep its primary mission as delivering energy security and electricity at the lowest possible cost.

If they really want to ‘put people first’ Labor must commit to keeping Tasmania’s electricity network in public hands.