Mike Baird avoiding scrutiny by rushing through privatisation plan

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The NSW Opposition has today slammed the Baird Government for introducing legislation to privatise the state’s electricity network before an inquiry into the proposal is complete. 

Labor leader Luke Foley said Mike Baird’s contempt for proper parliamentary process by ramming through privatisation legislation proves he is a Premier afraid of scrutiny.

“First Mike Baird appealed the independent regulator’s decision to lower power prices – backing in higher power bills for families and businesses,” Mr Foley said.

“Now he is trying to bypass the usual parliamentary process and rush through his privatisation plan, before the Inquiry chaired by Reverend Fred Nile has even had a chance to finish its work.

“Labor has an obligation to hold the government to account and scrutinise this transaction.

“This is the biggest transaction proposed by the NSW Government – and Mike Baird is trying to get it underway without attracting too much attention.

“Labor will continue to scrutinise the fine print of Mr Baird’s privatisation plan and fight any moves that will hurt the interests of consumers.”

Mr Foley also responded to criticism of his support for the determination of the Australian Energy Regulator that will lower household power prices by between $190 and $338 per year.

“I make no apology for standing up for lower power prices for every household and business in this state,” Mr Foley said.

Shadow Minister for Energy Adam Searle said: “The actions of the Liberal Government and the Premier show complete contempt for the process of the committee investigating this privatisation.

“The privatisation transaction simply doesn’t add up and that’s made worse when you factor in the loss of the profits these electricity companies currently provide to the state budget every year.

“This is outrageous behaviour by the Government, and simply they shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it.

“This just shows the committee process to be, in the Government’s eyes, a complete joke. It’s now a matter for the committee whether it’s prepared to be a doormat for the Premier.”