Business

Power jobs in jeopardy

Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis
Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis Adam Hourigan

THE battle over poles and wires has ignited with the release of the State Government's Audit Report recommending full electricity privatisation.

The Commission of Audit, released earlier this week, made 132 recommendations to improve public sector management and service delivery in NSW across a whole range of areas.

While Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis said not all of the recommendations will be adopted, the Electrical Trades Union stressed it will "vigorously fight" any proposal to privatise the service.

"The O'Farrell Government's Commission of Audit makes a number of recommendations, including further examining the prospect of full electricity privati- sation in NSW," ETU secretary Steve Butler said.

"Only last week the NSW En-ergy Minister admitted that the publicly owned electricity network delivers vital funding to the NSW Government to help fund other public services including police, hospitals and schools. This vital funding will be lost to a private company if the O'Farrell Government proceeds with electricity privatisation."

The local electrical network in the Clarence Valley is owned and serviced by Essential Energy and employs 221 people across four depots in Grafton, Casino, Woodburn and Maclean.

"Many pundits like to blame high electricity prices on our network infrastructure, however the fact remains that prices are set by way of regulation controlled by the NSW Government including reliability standards and government pricing regulations delivered by IPART," Mr Butler said.

"These government-set regu-lations guarantee a return on investment to the publicly owned electricity companies rather than the best deal for consumers.

"The thing about the electricity network is that there is only one set of poles and wires so there cannot be any competition - it is a natural monopoly."

Mr Gulaptis yesterday stuck to the line that the Premier "has repeatedly stated that the Government has no mandate to privatise poles and wires".

"As Member for Clarence, I fully support this position," Mr Gulaptis said.

Topics:  jobs, state government




Truck driver lucky to escape rollover

HEAVY LIFT: A tow truck operator works to move a truck out of a ditch on Summerland Way.

Grafton Heavy Towing overturned truck after fire risk assessment

Palace Arcade facelift brightens Maclean CBD

Manager of River Cafe Alison Edsell and owner of Bad Habits Len McComish in front of the Palace Arcade's new façade in Maclean.

Palace Arcade facade refurbishment almost complete.

Is Brian Harrigan the next mayor of Clarence Shire?

CIVIC DISORDER: Clarence Valley mayor Richie Williamson is not quite sure what to make of Brian Harrigan, who claims to be the new mayor in town and is spruiking his ideas for Australia Day.

A new leader is rising out of the woodwork

Latest deals and offers

Matt Damon is taking a break from acting

Matt Damon is taking a break to spend time with his family

Is Brian Harrigan the next mayor of Clarence Shire?

CIVIC DISORDER: Clarence Valley mayor Richie Williamson is not quite sure what to make of Brian Harrigan, who claims to be the new mayor in town and is spruiking his ideas for Australia Day.

A new leader is rising out of the woodwork

Police foiled terrifying 1m plot to kidnap Katie Price

Police foiled a £1 million plot to kidnap Katie Price and her family

REVIEW: A very loud nod to the original Ghostbusters

WHO YOU GONNA CALL? Kate McKinnon as Jullian Holtzmann in Ghostbusters which is playing at the Yamba Cinema.

New film pays homage to terrible CGI ghosts, ridiculous plot lines

Kristen Bell's baby confession

Kristen Bell once pretended to be asleep when her baby woke up early

Babylon 5's Jerry Doyle has died

Jerry Doyle has died from unknown causes at the age of 60

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started