- Protect our land and water from mining.
- Honesty and integrity in politics
- Local jobs
- People before profits
- Improved heath and education services.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Energy and water planning from the 1980s

Media release: 3 October 2012

Greens NSW MP and Energy, Health and Water Utilities spokesperson John Kaye described Infrastructure NSW's strategy as a series of lost opportunities to lower costs, improve environmental performance and ease the pressure on household budgets.

Dr Kaye said: "The report is an engineer's dream that will rapidly turn into an environmental and social nightmare.

"INSW's bias towards big water and energy supply projects systematically underestimates the ability of households and businesses to strategically reduce consumption at times of constraint.

"By ignoring the massive potential for decentralised water and electricity options, efficiency measures and strategic conservation, Infrastructure NSW's vision will push up household bills and inflict unnecessary damage on the environment with new dams, power lines and power stations.

"Reading Nick Greiner's vision for NSW is like taking a trip back to the 1980s. It is as if three decades of technology changes and new thinking about minimising costs and impacts on the environment did not happen.

"It's hardly surprising that Nick Greiner's panacea to the shortage of capital is to hand over crucial infrastructure to the private sector. The report conveniently ignores the fundamental truth that non-government investors will extract their costs and a healthy profit at the expense of households and the environment.

"INSW's answer to the massive challenges faced by the state's public health system is to outsource hospital services. The supposed cost savings are nothing but a statement of ideological faith that will inevitably compromise the welfare of patients, doctors and nurses. Under a decentralised system, the O'Farrell government will be able to pass the blame to the Local Health District boards when private provider profits trump health outcomes.

"Nick Greiner's Magic Pudding solution is selling the wires and poles and Snowy Hydro. After generations of NSW residents have paid for these assets, INSW wants to cash them in and surrender both the income stream they generate and the flexibility they provide in a time of massive technological and environmental change.

"The Strategy is written as if there is little reason to be concerned about the 60 million tonnes of CO2 produced by the electricity industry each year. Rather than looking to the cleaner, greener, higher-employment alternatives, Infrastructure NSW wants to lock the state into yet more fossil fuels and the climate damage they create.

"Despite acknowledging the impacts of four years of over-investment in the state's wires and poles and the systematic failure of electricity demand forecasting, INSW is pushing for yet more transmission and distribution infrastructure spending.

"It looks like the lessons of one of Labor's biggest debacles have not been learned by the Coalition and its advisers. In the end, it is households and communities that will pay the price," Dr Kaye said.

Have your say on O'Farrell's Renewable Energy Action Plan

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