Media release:15 November 2012
The Greens warned that Treasurer Mike Baird's plans to sell-off the
proposed Cobbora coal mine will not protect taxpayers and households from
decades of hidden power privatisation costs.
Greens NSW MP John Kaye said: "Privatising power stations will always be a
bad deal for the state's economy and environment but propping up the sale
price with below-cost coal contracts will make the impacts much worse.
"The Cobbora proposal started life as a dodgy deal designed to prop up
Labor's disastrous attempts at power privatisation.
"Privatising the mine now will not suddenly make the coal more economic to
extract, wash and transport to the power stations.
"Without massive subsidies, the mine will not go ahead and the O'Farrell
government's plans to sell the power stations will be in trouble.
"Just like Labor's disastrous gentrader sell-off, the O'Farrell government
will leave costs, risks and liabilities in public hands to fatten up the
coal mine and the power stations for sale.
"When he was in opposition, Treasurer Mike Baird was a leading critic of
the Cobbora project. Now he is in government, he is hoping no one will
notice that the mine is uneconomic.
"Power privatisation will lock NSW into power station greenhouse gas
emissions of at least 60 million tonnes of a year as well as the on-going
costs of Cobbora.
"The zero-emissions renewable alternatives which would be much cheaper in
the long run will face an uphill battle against state-subsided coal," Dr