Merging NSW's three state-owned wires and poles companies will not address the causes of power bill increases and will lead to massive job losses and more blackouts, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye. ('O'Farrell
Government to merge state's electricity distributors', Sunday Telegraph, 18 March 2012, http://j.mp/wpkYsY)
Dr Kaye said: "One large electricity distribution company will have even more capacity to gold plate the network.
"The O'Farrell government has failed to control the existing three companies' endless appetite for big spending on unnecessary wires, poles and substations.
"Households are paying for the $17.9 billion spend approved by Labor and the O'Farrell government has done nothing to wind it back.
"One large company will mean even more political power in the hands of the board and even less capacity for the government to reject unnecessary spending plans that will inevitably inflate household power bills.
"If Premier Barry O'Farrell were serious about taking the pressure off households he would cancel the unnecessary and expensive upgrades and invest instead in much cheaper energy efficiency and demand management.
"Having promised to create two companies from the existing three state-owned distributors, the O'Farrell government is now merging Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy and Essential Energy into a single empire with a hand-picked board.
"Inevitably front line jobs will be lost as the so-called efficiency gains are eaten up in yet more unnecessary capital works projects.
"It will not just be Labor's mates on the boards who will go.
"The loss of local depots and maintenance teams will mean more blackouts.
"Removing workforce representation from the board of the state-owned utilities is nothing more than political payback from the O'Farrell government.
"Union representatives bring an important workplace perspective to the decisions of these companies," Dr Kaye said.