Saturday, September 06, 2008


Rees should dump power sell-off: Greens

September 6, 2008 - 11:01AM, smh

Newly appointed NSW premier Nathan Rees should learn by Morris Iemma's mistakes and abandon the proposed electricity sell-off, says Greens MP John Kaye.

Last month the coalition blocked then treasurer, Michael Costa's controversial plan to privatise electricity generators, but a "Plan B" to sell the electricity retailers is still to go ahead.

At his inaugural news conference as premier Friday, Mr Rees confirmed a "divisive" Mr Costa would not be returning to cabinet.

Dr Kaye said dumping Mr Costa now gave Mr Rees a chance to distance his government from the controversial and "unpopular" power proposal.

"Michael Costa's power sell-off divided the Labor Party and devastated the Iemma government's already dismal standing with voters," Dr Kaye said in a statement.

"Premier-elect Rees now has a chance not only to dump Mr Costa but also to free his government from the unpopular and damaging legacy of the former treasurer.

"The new government should not squander this opportunity for a fresh start to the debate about how to manage the state's energy supplies."

At his final news conference as premier Friday, Mr Iemma said pushing ahead with the sell-off of retailers meant the state's generators would inevitably follow.

Dr Kaye said Mr Rees should ditch the plans altogether and work with the Greens towards transforming the state's electricity supplies.

"The incoming premier needs to restore faith with the community, environmentalists and the union movement," he said.

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