The Electrical Trades Union is demanding NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian provide an iron-clad commitment to the people of NSW that she will not surrender to members of her government seeking to use the state’s weakening budget position to justify further privatisation of the electricity network.
Ahead of the election, Premier Berejiklian ruled out selling the 49.6 per cent of Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy that remain in public hands, or the 100 per cent publicly-owned regional electricity distributor Essential Energy. However, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has left the door open saying he will consider all options in the future.
ETU Secretary Justin Page said senior members of the Liberal National Government were now using the pretense of a cooling economy and falling property prices to justify further privatisation.
“Premier Berejiklian repeatedly told the people of NSW that her election promises did not require further power privatisation to fund, and that’s a commitment that voters expect her to uphold,” Mr Page said.
“The fact that senior members of the NSW Government, including her Treasurer, are actively considering a contrary position, undermining the Premier just months after she was elected, is an alarming sign that she not only lacks authority, but that further power privatisation — without a mandate — remains on the agenda.
“Premier Berejiklian needs to stand up to those members of her government and make a firm commitment to the people of NSW that she will abide by her pledge that there will be no further power asset sales without a mandate from voters.
“If the Premier won’t commit to keeping electricity assets in public hands for the remaining three budgets of this term of government, it will show that just months after being elected she has already lost control of her own government.
“The ETU are committed to fighting to protect assets that remain in public hands, and our Stop The Sell Off campaign will continue against any further privatisation of our industry.”