Privatisation is ‘short-sighted’
Friday 23 Aug 2019NSW Labor will oppose privatisations that were floated by Premier Gladys Berejiklian while at a trade delegation in London. Shadow Treasurer Walt Secord and Shadow Minister for Natural Resources Paul Scully responded to a report that Berejiklian plans to sell the Forestry Corporation (formerly State Forests) and the remaining half of the WestConnex, Australia’s largest road infrastructure project.
“Selling public assets is a short-sighted approach, as it takes away a stable long-term revenue stream for NSW,” Scully said in a joint statement with Secord. According to a report from the Australian, a number of agencies could potentially be sold, in the hope of covering costs of future state projects.
Scully’s main concern is in regard to the Forestry Corporation, which is the largest manager of commercial native and plantation forests in NSW, with more than two million hectares of state forests and an output of 14% of Australia’s timber production. The corporation has offices in West Pennant Hills, Wauchope, Dubbo, Tumut, Bathurst, Coffs Harbour, and Bateman’s Bay.
“As we saw with the privatisation of electricity, these sell-offs result in job losses especially in rural and regional areas,” Scully said. “Over the eight years of the current government, Forestry Corporation has contributed AU$124 million in dividends to the NSW Budget which is a revenue stream that helps pay for essential services throughout the state.”
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