COMPETITION REGULATOR POURS COLD WATER ON “LET IT RIP” PRIVATISATIONS
NSW Labor supports ACCC Chair Rod Sims’s statements that privatisation risks creating private monopolies leading to higher prices, reduced efficiency, and economic harm.
We have seen that first hand in New South Wales and the Berejiklian Government is threatening and attempting more privatisations starting with Westconnex.
The ACCC Chair has today highlighted that certain privatisations had created private monopolies and excessive market power, which created a “multi-decade tax on Australian consumers and exporters”.
Mr Simms said that no privatisation should be allowed to occur unless regulatory and competition assessment had been completed, or potential market power had been tested.
Since 2011, the NSW Government has privatised $82 billion of the public’s assets, handing secure revenue flows over to the private sector. This includes hospitals, TAFEs, roads, public transport, electricity networks, and over $23 billion in public land and buildings.
Currently the focus of the NSW Government should be on stopping the COVID-19 spread, and supporting people and businesses in their time of need.
Now is not the time for the Treasurer be engaging in one of the biggest privatisations this state has ever seen, by selling the remaining half of Westconnex.
Mr Sims rightly pointed out that people are against privatisation “because they see prices going up”. There is no clearer example of this than Sydney’s toll roads.
The NSW Government has entrenched a tollmania monopoly across Sydney’s roads, leading to Sydney being the most-tolled city in the world, with 4% toll increases a year, and some families paying $6,000 a year just to get to work.
The decision to hand the tolls paid by Western Sydney motorists, tradies and truck drivers over to a privately owned monopoly operator – rather than reinvesting it into infrastructure or cost of living relief – makes this even worse.
CHRIS MINNS MP
NSW LABOR LEADER
DANIEL MOOKHEY MLC