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Keating confused on power sell-off facts

Media release by NSW Greens MLA, John Kaye Tuesday 06 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.

Keating confused on power sell-off facts.

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.

Stop Press: According to The Australian's Matthew Warren in Power Brokers of 9 May:

Typically, former prime minister Paul Keating didn't hold back earlier this week, publishing a demolition of Unions NSW's anti-privatisation position that was aired so robustly last weekend.Read of Paul Keating's 'robust' 'demolition' of
the anti-privatisation caseby


Thanks for this!
And to think that the Murdoch newspapers are so uncritical of the people they publish in this very important matter, and that they only publish one side of the views. At the moment the Murdoch press is bleating about freedom of the press in Fiji (where it owns the two major newspapers) but I don't see that the Murdoch press brings freedom to the press. What I see is that the Murdoch press presents a certain point of view to the public and that the Murdoch Press owns so much of the media in Australia and the rest of the world that its rather narrow viewpoint amounts to global propaganda. I would like to know what interests the Murdoch press has in the privatisation of electricity or any other assets (apart from land, where we know it has many interests.)

Sheila Newman, population sociologist
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