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125th anniversary of electricity in Tamworth highlights importance of keeping power network in public hands

Nov 12, 2013

Government’s plans to seek a mandate to privatise the publicly owned NSW electricity network, should they win the next state election in 2015.

ETU NSW secretary Steve Butler said this weekend’s anniversary is a celebration of what has grown to become one of the state’s most valuable public assets and an essential service that
the people of NSW greatly value.

“When those first electric lights were switched on 125 years ago, the people of Tamworth could never have imagined the size and complexity of the electricity network would grow from that humble start,” he said.

“The introduction of electric lighting in Tamworth back in 1888 was paid for and built by the local community and today it forms part of a cutting-edge network spanning the entire state.

“I am certain that when Tamworth’s very first electricity network was built, the local community would never have imagined that a future government would try to sell it off for short-term gain, yet that’s exactly what we are faced with at the 2015 election.

“Local representatives may say they have ‘no plans’ to privatise the publicly owned electricity network, but if that’s true then why has the NSW Government commissioned two reports telling them to sell, and why is Treasury currently examining how a sale may occur?

“When push comes to shove, the local community deserves to know that whoever is representing them in Macquarie Street will stand up and fight against any plans to privatise the
publicly owned electricity network.

“All Kevin Anderson needs to do is publicly state that he is opposed to the privatisation of the electricity network and that he will fight any future proposal.

“This anniversary is a reminder of the vision that past governments had in building and developing essential services, and is in stark contrast to today’s government which appears more interested in a short term cash grab just to get re-elected.”

Media comment: Steve Butler — 0414 877 679
Further information: Paul Lister — 0408 231 858