Business

Calls for states to privatise electricity networks

Business Council of Australia president Tony Shepherd said the calls for privatisation were consistent with the council’s view that the networks would run better, and cheaper, if owned by private enterprise.
Business Council of Australia president Tony Shepherd said the calls for privatisation were consistent with the council’s view that the networks would run better, and cheaper, if owned by private enterprise. John Farmer

THE nation's peak business body has called on state governments to privatise electricity networks after two major reports urging the sale of state-owned poles and wires this week.

The Productivity Commission released a report recommending the sale of the electricity transmission networks on Thursday, the same day Infrastructure Australia also made the same recommendation in a separate report.

Business Council of Australia president Tony Shepherd said the calls for privatisation were consistent with the council's view that the networks would run better, and cheaper, if owned by private enterprise.

Mr Shepherd said a shortfall in government funding putting more pressure on governments to sell the networks.

While Victoria already has a privatised electricity network, both Queensland and New South Wales still own the networks in those states.

"Government no longer needs to own infrastructure businesses where the private sector is capable of owning and operating businesses in a competitive or well-regulated environment," Mr Shepherd said.

"With the appropriate regulatory oversight the private sector can achieve efficiencies and bring innovative ideas to the table and this will ultimately mean better services and reduced costs to consumers over time.

"Asset sales would also provide government owners with a significant cash injection that can be used to clear the transport and social infrastructure backlog in our cities and regions."

Infrastructure Australia national infrastructure coordinator Michael Deegan said governments needed to explore new finance opportunities and to improve productivity.

"If we are to build on and sustain the living standards of all Australians, governments need to recognise that they cannot bridge the current funding gap," he said.

And despite community concern about privatising such public assets, Mr Deegan said such concerns could be addressed through regulation, despite many of the current problems in the electricity network arising out of problems in regulation.

Topics:  business council of australia, electricity infrastructure, privitisation, productivity commission




Teenager trapped in ute rollover south of Warwick

Emergency services were called about 9.30am.

UPDATE: Emergency crews are at the scene of a rollover.

Latest deals and offers

#SaveMarinaJoyce: How ISIS theory took over youtube channel

One young Youtuber accidentally gave rise to a conspiracy theory

Talking whiskey with Jack Daniel’s master distiller

It all comes down to the distillery

SIXTY MILES AHEAD sign with Eclipse Records, prepare new album 'Insanity'

Sixty Miles Ahead sign with Eclipse. Photo Contributed

Sixty Miles Ahead to release new album on Eclipse

Thy Art Is Murder are killing it

See Thy Art is Murder on their killer tour happening right now. Photo Contributed

We talk with Thy Art is Murder about touring, babies, and new music

Date announced for Prince tribute concert

A Prince tribute concert will take place later this year

Matt Damon is taking a break from acting

Matt Damon is taking a break to spend time with his family

Queensland's $1 town goes under the hammer today

The township of Yelarbon is up for sale.

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles