Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson has announced that Essential Energy will remain in public hands following the NSW Government’s proposed long-term lease of part of the State’s electricity networks.


Mr Anderson said that he listened to the Tamworth electorate and on behalf of the community made it clear to the Government that Essential Energy and its poles and wires were not an option.


“My office had been inundated with calls, emails, and letters demanding that our local networks not be part of any sale or lease that the Government was considering.


“This resulted in Essential Energy not being part of the state wide lease of poles and wires. We have protected local jobs and services.


“The Nationals held firm on our position, we did not want to see job losses, reduction in services and unprecedented price rises in the Tamworth electorate.


“Also as part of the Nationals demands, there was no sale of poles and wires in any of the seats held by Nationals MP’s in regional NSW.


“Historically, regional NSW has contributed significantly to the Government’s coffers through its electricity networks, so as part of the deal hammered out by the Nationals, regional NSW will receive $6billion from the sale of metropolitan poles and wires.


“I look forward to a share of those proceeds being allocated to the Tamworth electorate to fund major projects. This money will be used to build more hospitals, roads and schools in our region.


"I am encouraging all councils in my electorate to work up projects that they believe would benefit our region and contact me.


“We fought hard to keep Essential Energy in public hands because of potential price rises and job losses and now it’s the unions turn to put their money where their mouth is and join with the Nationals on looking after country people and protecting local jobs and services, and a focus on reducing electricity prices.


"This was a critical decision as it provides security for the many workers and their families of Essential Energy. They do a fantastic job and I know that even when the smallest of communities in the Tamworth Electorate has a power failure through a storm or other misadventure, the local crew are at the scene as quickly as possible to fix the problem and restore power.


"By keeping the local poles and wires in Government hands, that service is guaranteed" Mr Anderson concluded.

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