Media Release

28 November 2017

NSW Labor describes the latest plan by the Berejiklian-Barilaro Government to get taxpayers fund a new coal fired power station as “nonsense” and a “thought bubble”.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro is reportedly talking to the Premier about building a new coal fired power station at a cost to taxpayers.

NSW Labor says the NSW Government’s record on electricity generation is woeful:

· Liddell power station was sold- the new private operator intends to close it
· Wallerawang power station was closed by its new private operator
· Vales Point was sold for a song at $1 million- the new owner values it at $730 million. The private operator is also selling electricity for higher prices than when the station was in community ownership

Now Deputy Premier Barilaro wants the public to pay for the construction of a new power station when they should not have sold off the state’s electricity assets in the first place.

The National Party leader has been forced into a panicked thought bubble following voter anger over the obscene $2.5 billion splurge on Sydney stadiums.

The Nationals have once again let down rural & regional communities by surrendering to the Liberals on stadium spending. Regional communities are crying out for better hospitals, schools, TAFEs, road upgrades and water security.

Existing coal fired power capacity will continue to provide a large share of our state’s energy generation for many years to come. But new generation will overwhelmingly come from clean energy sources, combined with batteries and other forms of energy storage. This is a worldwide development and NSW must be part of this.

While other Australian states are acting now, the NSW government is standing idle.

In June, Mr Foley used his Budget Reply speech to call for the NSW government to immediately tender for 100 megawatts of storage to be delivered & in place for the coming summer.

Labor has committed to using some of the proceeds from the transfer of the Snowy Hydro to invest in renewable generation across Regional NSW and to massively increase solar energy generation on the rooves of government buildings.

Rather than peddle this nonsense today, the NSW Deputy Premier & his government should adopt the policies Labor has put forward to secure the state’s energy security.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley:

“This comes from the mob who sold off all the states power stations. They sold off Wallerawang which was promptly shut by the new private owner. They sold off Liddell which will be shut by the new private owner and they sold of the Vales Point power station for a paltry $1 million and the new private owner just valued it at $730 million.

“The Berejiklian Government should not give this any serious consideration.

“The Deputy Premier has come up with this thought bubble after receiving some well-deserved backlash from rural and regional communities for acquiescing to the Liberals to spend billions on Sydney stadiums.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Energy Adam Searle:

“This Liberal National Government has done everything it can to drive up household and small business electricity bills, and is now running scared of the community’s judgment.

“They have no plan to get the State out the mess they have created and this thought bubble is just a distraction – like Mr Barilaro’s call for nuclear power a few months back.

“What is needed is a smart package of innovative electricity retail market re-regulation and plans for new electricity generation projects to ensure the supply of electricity to our community – as Labor has committed to if we are elected to office in March 2019.”