TRANSGRID LEASE EXPOSES CONSUMERS AND RENEWABLE ENERGY TO UNCERTAIN FUTURE

The $10.3 billion paid for the long-term lease of NSW’s high voltage transmission network raises serious questions about what guarantees have been given to the consortium and their costs for consumers and the future of the renewable energy industry, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

Dr Kaye said: “The over-the-odds sale price looks like consumers have been served up on a platter to the multi-national consortium.

“Premier Mike Baird must come clean on the details of what guarantees were provided.

“TransGrid is the nerve centre of the electricity system in NSW.

“If a top-dollar sale price was locked in with a series of contract sweeteners, then inevitably it will be consumers and the renewable energy industry who will pay.

“With annual revenues of only $2.2 billion, TransGrid was set to be the smallest of the leases yet it has brought in what looks like a highly inflated price.

“This will help Mike Baird politically and it will provide for additional infrastructure but inevitably the additional cash will be extracted from households.

“The Australian Energy Regulator wrote down TransGrid’s allowable annual revenue from $2.9 billion to $2.2 billion.

“Clearly the new leaseholders are expecting something more for their $10.3 billion investment.

“There is little the electricity price commissioner can do to protect consumers after the first four years of the lease period.

“The transmission network, set up to deliver electricity from the state’s five large coal fired power stations to urban centres and large industry, is at risk of becoming an impaired asset.

“Somewhere hidden in this deal there will be a massive sting in the tail for NSW.

“Today the people of NSW have lost control over their energy future to a consortium of multinational corporations that care nothing for households or the clean energy future,” Dr Kaye said.

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Bike Blackspot iPhone App Launched!

Cyclists in Canada Bay are well aware of several blackspots in local cycling infrastructure, for example, the corner of Lyons Rd West and Bayview Rd. The Greens’ new Bike Blackspot iPhone App can send a message to the NSW Government telling them that this corner in Canada Bay is a hazardous spot for cyclists and it needs to be fixed.

The Bike Blackspot iPhone App (sydney.bikeblackspot.org) allows cyclists to build a map of where improvements are needed. This tool can be used to lobby the government and show them where funding needs to be targeted and because it is interactive; cyclists can also use it to share information about great places to cycle in Canada Bay.

With several active cyclists, the Canada Bay Greens are working hard to ensure that Canada Bay to becomes a safe and cycling friendly area for people of all ages.

The app in the brainchild of Greens Senator Scott Ludlam and at the official NSW launch (photo above) Scott and NSW Greens MP Cate Faehrmann urged cyclists in Sydney to use the Greens’ new Bike Blackspot iPhone App to log the good, the bad and the ugly of bicycle infrastructure and send a message to the Transport Minister, campaigners and their fellow cyclists.

“Cyclists can use their phones to record danger zones, obstacles and maintenance issues on the spot and upload a photo.  They can also nominate a spot that needs better infrastructure and praise good areas where cycling really works,” said Ms Faehrmann.

“Users of the App will also be sending a direct message to Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian that we need better support for cycling. “So far the NSW Government has failed to adopt the absolutely vital Inner Sydney Regional Bicycle Network project, which would cover around 14 local government areas, has a cost benefit of $3.88 for every dollar spent and could be built for a fraction of the cost of new motorways and roads.

The app has so far been launched in Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Geraldton with great response. Senator Ludlam has been calling for federal funding for cycling infrastructure for two years, but this has so far been rejected by government.

“Bike riders across Australia are fed up with being endangered, ignored and neglected by Governments and are now making the case for urgently needed funding,” Senator Ludlam said.

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