Grant still confident about sell-off despite Qld worries |POLL

Dubbo MP and Deputy Premier Troy Grant is still confident about his government's plan to lease 49 per cent of NSW's electricity poles and wires to private companies.

Dubbo MP and Deputy Premier Troy Grant is still confident about his government's plan to lease 49 per cent of NSW's electricity poles and wires to private companies.

Dubbo MP and Deputy Premier Troy Grant is still confident about his government's plan to lease 49 per cent of NSW's electricity poles and wires to private companies.

A similar plan in Queensland to sell-off the state-owned electricity supply and other public assets contributed to the collapse of the Liberal National Party government of Campbell Newman at the weekend.

Commentators highlighted the Queensland electoral defeat as a warning for the NSW Coalition, which plans to lease the poles and wires for 99 years.

NSW residents have been strongly opposed in the past to plans by other governments to privatise electricity.

The NSW government has said its plan will generate $20 billion which will fund roads, rail and other infrastructure.

The Queensland government claimed it would raise $37 billion.

Mr Grant said he did not expect the plans for electricity privatisation to fall into the same trap which saw the Queensland government crash.

"Our plan is function very differently to what Queensland proposed," Mr Grant said.

"We are listening to communities and we know there are concerns, but we want to give people lower electricity prices with improved services and infrastructure."

Mr Grant said regional areas of the state were not at risk from the leasing.

"The regional network Essential Energy will not be leased at all."

He said the policy platform showed the government's belief the community would embrace the return of the dividends and reap the significant benefits.

Dubbo Country Labour candidate Stephen Lawrence said electricity privatisation was the key issue in the lead up to the election.

"People are aware that it doesn't make economic sense." 

 Mr. Lawrence  said there could be no competitiveness in electricity distribution as the 'poles and wires' were a natural monopoly as well as an essential service

Mr Lawrence said the $20 billion return would be a "sugar hit" for NSW.

"It's short-term money set aside to buy the election," he said.

In regards to Essential Energy not being included in the privatisation, Mr Lawrence said he predicted the company would eventually be privatised.

"They're a sitting duck at the moment," he said.

Greens candidate for Dubbo, Matt Parmeter, said the rejection of the electricity privatisation by the Queensland electorate had sent a strong message to all state governments across Australia.

"Power privatisation is bad for the economy, bad for the environment and will likely deliver a bad result for most people," Mr Parmeter said.

"There are very few community benefits which could come out of it."

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