The NSW Government should grab a once in a century opportunity to deliver a $10 billion transport infrastructure boost by accepting the Owen Inquiry findings to sell the state’s electricity retail and generation assets, according to the Property Council of Australia.
The recommendations of the Owen Inquiry were released today calling for the sale of state electricity generation and retail assets, or failing that, leasing generators to the private sector. The inquiry found that the government would avoid the need to spend $12-15 billion on power assets in the future and generate $10 billion in proceeds from the sale.
Property Council executive director Ken Morrison said this one-off prospect of transforming our transport infrastructure base should not be passed up.
“The state’s infrastructure base would be $10 billion better off if our electricity assets were sold and the proceeds reinvested wisely,” NSW executive director Ken Morrison said.
“Currently we have billions of dollars of public money locked up in assets which it doesn’t need to be in, yet our transport network is crying out for a major capital injection.
“Owen makes the point that it is not essential to have public money invested in electricity assets, yet it is essential for much of our transport infrastructure base.
“This is a once in a century opportunity to give our cities and regional areas a massive infrastructure upgrade.
”NSW clearly needs to construct new baseload power generation capacity and the private sector stands ready and waiting to make the investment if the findings of this inquiry are adopted.”
Last year the Property Council published a major study into the unfunded infrastructure projects needed to drive economic growth in NSW over the next ten years. This found that investing in the right infrastructure would grow the state’s economy by $8.8 billion and deliver 50,000 new jobs.
Mr Morrison said proceeds from power privatisation should be used to fund much needed projects which would have a major boost to the economy, such as: Port Botany intermodal freight network, the north west rail link, the M4 East and Port Botany tunnel, Pacific Highway upgrades, the Harbour Rail Link, F3 to M7 motorway, and a metro rail system for the CBD and inner Sydney.
“There is a pressing need for projects like this, yet we know the capacity to deliver them using the NSW budget is limited,” said Mr Morrison.
“We need to ensure that every dollar of these proceeds is reinvested in priority infrastructure projects without a corresponding decrease in funding which has already been pledged.
For more information please contact:
Ken Morrison, NSW Executive Director, 02 9033 1906 or 0412 233 715