The privatisation budget for the big end of town

The Baird government is undermining the state's future revenue base to promise big projects for an election year and deliver tax cuts to the corporate sector, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.
 
Dr Kaye said: "Treasurer Andrew Constance says that his government is now in control of the NSW budget.
 
"This is untrue.
 
"Real control has passed to the business sector who will reap the benefits of more than $780 million in the abolition of transfer and duty taxes.
 
"The construction industry will profit from the so-called recycling of assets and the business community will reap a lion's share of the benefits of new infrastructure.
 
"Big business has a Treasurer and a Premier who give them exactly what they want, despite the long term impacts on services and the state's revenue base.

Injured workers continue to hurt, while employers have their costs cut

Injured workers who are struggling to survive on workers compensation benefits have been struck another blow by the NSW Coalition government with its budget decision to cut employer premiums by 5% rather than using this money to restore benefits that were slashed in 2012 'reforms' .
 
Greens MP and Justice Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
 
"Thousands of injured workers are living at or below the poverty line under this brutal scheme, but rather than restoring their benefits the Baird Government has chosen to cut employer premiums.

2014-2015 Budget Papers Confirm Government’s Plan to Sell Off Newcastle Rail Corridor to Developers

NSW Greens MP and Transport spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC has called the 2014/2015 budget confirmation that the truncation of the rail line in Newcastle is about a land grab, not public transport.
 

Activist gag laws another attack on free speech and animal welfare

Australian Greens animal welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has accused Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce of using biosecurity as a cover to introduce "ag-gag" laws as a way to shut down scrutiny of animal cruelty.
 
"Instead of working with farming communities to improve animal welfare, Minister Joyce is trying to hoodwink the Australian people by citing biosecurity as a reason to introduce laws protecting perpetrators of animal cruelty," said Senator Rhiannon.

Baird's $348m hit to public purse

NSW taxpayers are being asked to stump up an estimated $348 million for road and transport infrastructure to support the Baird government's private hospital on the Northern Beaches, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.
 
Dr Kaye said: "For more than three years the Northern Beaches community have been calling for the release of accurate costings.
 
"Everyone knew there would need to be substantial investment in roads and public transport accessing the site of the proposed hospital but the Coalition kept its constituents in the dark.
 
"Finally the details have been revealed. 
 
"By the government's own calculations the cost of the transport infrastructure to support the new private hospital at Frenchs Forest will be $348 million.
 
"There is no doubt that the work needs to be done if a hospital is to be built on this site but the extraordinary additional cost of more than a third of a billion dollars should have been factored in before the location was chosen.

Rooftop solar industry about to take another blow

The NSW independent pricing regulator has today suggested to electricity retailers that they slash the amount paid for rooftop solar energy by up to 25 percent because of the imminent repeal of the carbon price, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.
 
Dr Kaye said: "The solar industry is about to become a victim of both IPART's methodology that undervalues electricity from rooftop panels and the Abbott government's repeal of the carbon price.
 
"Despite the environmental and economic benefits of clean energy generated close to the load, solar installers have struggled with hostile policies from both levels of government for more than three years.
 
"Now they face yet another hurdle as potential customers see the already meagre benchmark tariffs cut by between 17 and 25.8 percent.
 
"IPART has refused to price solar power at anything like the retail tariff.

‘Ag Gag’ Laws Push Misguided

Greens NSW MP and Animal Welfare Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has reported plans to introduce so called ‘ag-gag’ laws that would criminalise exposing animal cruelty on farms. She has also criticised the misuse of the proposed new biosecurity framework to pursue animal activists rather than focus on protecting our environment and agricultural sector.
 
Dr Faruqi said: “To call animal welfare activists who expose animal cruelty ‘terrorists’ really is a form of ridiculous hyperbole.
 
“The Primary Industries Minister has called animal activists ‘terrorists’ in the past and the Roads and Freight Minister has used similar ridiculous language in a response to a question I asked in parliament several weeks ago.

Baird misleads on power bills to justify power sell-off

Supporters of electricity privatisation are misleading voters by peddling the myth that transport costs for Ausgrid's control room staff are responsible for rising power bills, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye
 
('Power bills surge thanks to Ausgrid workers spend $240,000 on taxis a year', Daily Telegraphy, 14 June 2014, http://j.mp/1lueL9T)
 
Dr Kaye said: "Ausgrid's transport costs for control-room workers are $240,000 a year, while its total revenues are more than $3.3 billion a year.
 
"Less than 0.008 percent of household bills go to ensuring that there are highly qualified controllers at the wires and poles utility's nerve centre keeping the lights.
 
"At 15 cents a year it's a small price for consumers to pay to ensure that reliability-critical staff can get to work.
 
"It is absurd to claim that it has anything to do with the $1,000 increase in average annual household bills over the past six years.

Greens call for an urgent review of parks legislation to safeguard residents

Greens MP and Housing spokesperson Jan Barham has called on communities to lobby the NSW Government to suspend the implementation of new laws affecting the affordability  of residential parks and manufactured home estates, and to make public details about the process involved in developing the controversial laws that passed Parliament in late 2013.
 
"Recent evidence presented at the ICAC and our Parliamentary inquiry into housing gives cause for serious concern that affordable residential park living is under threat, while park operators who contributed funds to the Liberal Party are given the opportunity for windfall earnings," Ms Barham said.

Transport Planning on the Run Just Castles in the Air to Justify Privatisation

Greens NSW MP and Transport Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has called the latest spate of  un-connected transport announcements predicated on the privatisation of the electricity network 'castles in the air', and thought bubbles that have been put together as policy on the run to justify the privatisation of our public assets.
 
Dr Faruqi said:
 
"These transport and rail announcements are thought bubbles designed to justify the privatisation of our electricity network.
 
"A second harbour crossing that will be isolated from the Sydney Trains network, an expanded metro system that will cannibalise the existing railway system and now a 'maybe, maybe not' station at Barangaroo. Every day brings a new thought bubble.