BUDGET REPLY: FOLEY TO RE-REGULATE ELECTRICITY MARKET AND BACKS WESTERN SYDNEY METRO

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A Foley Labor government would re-regulate the electricity market to help households and businesses struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living under the Berejiklian Government. 

If elected at the next state election Labor would also prioritise the Western Sydney Metro over the Northern Beaches tunnel, delivering a high-speed transport solution to NSW’s fastest growing region.

The two initiatives address key themes central to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley’s Budget Reply speech delivered in NSW Parliament today – Western Sydney’s future, and cost of living pressures.

Mr Foley committed to the Western Sydney Metro just two days after the Berejiklian Government specifically excluded in the Budget the much-needed fast rail link in favour of the Premier’s Northern Beaches Tunnel which received more than $100 million in funding to get it underway.

The rail link will double capacity on an already overcrowded Western Line and move about 40,000 people an hour in each direction.

Mr Foley’s attack on the power companies’ excessive profits comes as NSW households and businesses brace themselves for electricity bills that are set to increase annually by an average of $300 and $900 a year respectively. 

Mr Foley said in his speech today that the Liberals had abjectly failed to honour the promise they made on the eve of the 2015 state election that power prices would go down; the promised benefits from the privatisation of the ‘poles and wires’ had failed to materialise.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

On electricity

“Families and small businesses are facing record power bills- because the Government did everything it could to drive the price up ahead of privatisation.

“This Government went to court to overturn the independent regulator’s price cuts.

“Labor will not stand by and let family budgets be crushed and businesses wrecked by power price hikes.

“Electricity privatisation and price de-regulation has not delivered what the Liberals and Nationals promised. 

Today, I put the electricity companies – and the Liberals and Nationals - on notice.

“We will re-regulate the electricity companies to ensure that consumers are treated fairly.”

On Western Sydney Metro

“We won’t proceed with this Premier’s northern beaches tunnel pet project.

“Rather, we’ll prioritise the delivery of a new underground metro railway line between Parramatta and the Sydney CBD because, frankly, the needs of 3 million residents of western Sydney must come before those of 300,000 northern beaches residents.

“The existing Western Line is at full capacity now. The Western Metro will effectively double rail capacity between our two CBDs of Parramatta and Sydney City.

“The Liberals say they are committed to the Western Metro but not a single dollar is allocated to it in this Budget.

“When it comes to transport, people will have a clear choice at the next election. The Liberals priority: a northern beaches tunnel - Labor’s priority: new metro rail for Sydney’s west.”