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Sale of NSW electricity retail assets amidst world credit crisis an act of financial recklessness

Now is not the time for electricity retail fire sale

NSW Greens Media Release 19 September 2008

Pushing ahead with the sale of the state's electricity retailers during the greatest credit crisis since the 1929 stock market crash would be financial recklessness, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

Dr Kaye said: "Businesses across the globe are offloading assets at bargain basement prices as the financial sector goes into global credit meltdown.

"Selling at the bottom of a market is the least prudent course of action, especially when the retailers are returning dividends to NSW taxpayers.

"NSW Treasurer Eric Roozendaal would do well to note that ‘buy high, sell low' is not a winning formula when it comes to asset management.

"At a time when securities markets globally are walking into a lift shaft and credit is drying up, privatising anything would be fiscally reckless.

"The very firms that have been investing in infrastructure assets and utilities including Macquarie Bank and Babcock and Brown are the ones that have been taking a hammering on the markets.

"NSW faces a choice.

"Ideologically driven privatisation would offload a valuable asset at fire sale prices and leave households increasingly exposed to the hostile power markets.

"The alternative is strategic management of the state's retail electricity sector to achieve sustainable prosperity," Dr Kaye said.

For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455

John Kaye
Greens member of the NSW Parliament
phone: (02) 9230 2668
fax: (02) 9230 2586
mobile: 0407 195 455
john.kaye[AT]parliament nsw gov au