The last few months have seen the NSW Government, led by Treasurer Eric Roozendaal, move to sell NSW taxpayer electricity assets.
Following are some of the facts that are known:
- Treasurer Eric Roozendaal, and some Treasury officials, are known to ”treasure” the state’s AAA credit rating, and have been reluctant to invest in electricity infrastructure for many years.
- NSW Treasury expects to gain more than $5 Billion form the sale of taxpayer-owned assets.
- The transactions are expected to take over 2 years.
- 11 board members of Eraring and Delta Electricity resigned, believing the sales of their trading rights were not in the interests of the NSW state-owned companies.
- NSW Treasurer Roozendaal replaced the 11 board members at night with political yes-men.
- Tony Maher, who resigned from the Board of Eraring on 14-December has described the sale as “a mad dash for cash”.
- The NSW Government is creating privately-owned companies that will form an oligopoly of electricity suppliers.
- Origin energy gains Country Energy and Integral Energy (retail suppliers) and the output from Eraring (power generation)
- TRUenergy, a Hong Kong company, gets EnergyAustralia, and the output from Delta West and some smaller generators
- Elizabeth Knight, writing for the Sydney Morning Herald on 16-Dec, wrote that “the purchase of the long-term supply contracts with gentraders Eraring (acquired by Origin) and Delta Electricity (bought by TRUenergy) went for bargain-basement prices”
- The Sydney Morning Herald reported, 16-Dec-2010, “A UBS analyst, David Leitch, said: "NSW households are in for higher electricity tariffs and more people at their front door, trying to get them to change electricity supplier." Note: he said more people, not more suppliers.
ASIC sets out the duties of directors thus:
- be honest and careful in your dealings at all times
- know what your company is doing
- take extra care if your company is operating a business because you may be handling other people’s money
- make sure that your company can pay its debts on time
- see that your company keeps proper financial records
- act in the company’s best interests, even if this may not be in your own interests, and even though you may have set up the company just for personal or taxation reasons, and
- use any information you get through your position properly and in the best interests of the company.
The Legislative Council inquiry, so swiftly sidestepped by Premier Keneally, might well be the public inquiry we need to have.