Baird misleads on power price claims

National party MPs  and the community should not be misled by Premier Mike Baird misleading claims that power privatisation in Victoria did not result in higher prices, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

Dr Kaye said: "By selectively using data, consultants can produce any headline their clients want to hear.

"In this case, the cyclical differences between Victoria and NSW were conveniently ignored.

"NSW power bill increases were driven by massive investments in new wires and poles infrastructure, not public ownership or employee costs.

"An ill-advised change to reliability standards in 2005 resulted in the NSW wires and poles companies investing $18 billion in new infrastructure, still being paid for by high household bills.

Selling Poles & Wires to fund an Unintegrated Second Harbour Crossing Risks Future of Public Transport

Greens NSW MP and Transport Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has warned that building a second harbour crossing as an unintegrated metro service will restrict capacity, waste billions and go against every principle of integrated transport systems. Premier Baird has announced that 'poles and wires' will be sold to fund a new harbour crossing, meaning public assets are being sold for private interests.

"Premier Baird's plan to sell off vital public electricity assets to fund a second harbour tunnel for a metro-style standalone train line which does not integrate with Sydney's current rail network is unjustifiable.

"This is a plan to sell off public assets in order to fund privately run and operated metro systems and very clearly the beginning of the privatisation of our rail system, an essential service that needs to remain in public hands.

Pyne enshrines wealthy private school privilege

The Abbott government's axing of the last two years of the Gonski agreement with the Baird government will rob the state's public schools of  $387,000 a year each by 2020 while leaving many of NSW's wealthiest private schools with more than $1 million over their needs-based funding, according to calculations released today by Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

('Post-Gonski fortune to private schools', Sydney Morning Herald, 9 June, page 7, http://j.mp/smh140609)

Some of the elite winners from Mr Pyne's decision, such as Loreto Kirribilli, Brigidine St Ives and St Aloysius' College in Milsons Point will be paid more than $5 million a year over the Gonski amount, in large measure because a funding guarantee given to them by John Howard in the year 2000.

Dr Kaye called on the NSW government to cut into its $1 billion non-government education funding to provide compensation to the state's public schools for the loss of promised federal support.

Dr Kaye said: "Terminating the Gonski process after just four years will leave government funding of the wealthiest private schools intact while destroying the opportunity for public schools to catch up.

"Private schools like Loreto Kirribilli and St Aloysius' College in Milsons Point will continue to receive millions of dollars a year largely unaffected by the Gonski principles. Public schools will be denied a big boost to their annual budgets.

World Environment Day: Greens Call for Government to stand up for the Environment

On World Environment Day, Greens MP and Environment Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has called on the NSW Government to stand up to protect the Environment. Dr Faruqi will host a World Environment Day forum at 6pm at the Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts focussed on conserving our Marine Environment, with speakers from the diving, sailing and nature conservancy community.

"Yesterday, on the eve of World Environment Day, I stood with hundreds of people outside the Environment Ministers office, calling on the Government to cancel the special conditions granted to Whitehaven coal to clear the Leard State Forest over winter, and stop the onslaught on our native wildlife.

"This year's World Environment Day theme is 'Raise Your Voice, Not the Sea Level' and is an urgent reminder of the need to combat climate change, end the CSG and coal rush and transition to an 100% renewable energy economy.