Fred Nile: Privatising poles is about getting ball rolling

CHRISTIAN Democrats leader Fred Nile says the NSW Premier's decision to introduce a bill for the lease of the state's electricity assets before an inquiry had finished was not a snub - it was about getting the ball rolling.

Rev Nile is chairing the parliamentary inquiry into the proposed privatisation of 49% of the state's "poles and wires" power infrastructure.

The inquiry's final report is not due until June 2, but Premier Mike Baird introduced its legislation to the lower house on Tuesday.

"We don't have the bill in the upper house yet - they're holding it back in the (Legislative) Assembly so the report can be tabled," Rev Nile said.

"The Labor Party has been demanding a copy of the bill, so that's the excuse the government is giving for bringing it forward."

Rev Nile said the government had indicated it would make amendments recommended by the inquiry, to be brought to the upper house next week.

"They said they would be sympathetic to the amendments. I hope that's still the case when we get to the vote," he said.

"Particularly on the conditions for workers - I have insisted there can't be wholesale sackings by the new owner.

"There must be a minimum five-year period of employment, and anyone who wants to retire must do so voluntarily."

-APN NEWSDESK



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