25 October 2015 - Shadow Minister for Essential Services, Nicole Manison, said that it is understood the shareholding minister for PowerWater Corporation, David Tollner, is considering a submission to privatise part of Systems Control within PowerWater.
“Systems Control is vital to managing electricity supply and the privatisation of this asset could threaten coordination of response times to major blackouts – especially if ownership is transferred to external interest,” said Ms Manison.
“It’s a simple one for the CLP Government to address – if it’s not happening then David Tollner should come out and simply rule it out – end of story.
“While he’s at it, he should also rule out the future sale of any part of PowerWater, Territory Generation and Jacarna Energy.
“Territorians know that the CLP can’t be trusted not to sell off the assets of Territorians – and that’s why David Tollner must today rule out the privatisation of Systems Control.
“Territorians deserve to be kept in the loop when it comes to the sale of their assets. The reality is that this CLP Government is addicted to selling our private assets.
“That's why we are calling on David Tollner to rule out both the privatisation of part of systems control and the future sale of the PowerWater Corporation and its associated entities.”
Media Release: Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794
11 August 2015 - Natasha Fyles, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure today acknowledged comments from experts confirming that the CLP’s privatisation of the Darwin Port has is likely to impact on the hip pockets of Territorians.
Comments today from Victoria University’s Institute for Supply Chain and Logistics Maritime expert, Peter van Duyn, with regard to the privatisation of the Darwin Port, said:
“That will make it extra hard for the sellers and bidders to determine a fair price for these attractive infrastructure assets, under what conditions a competing port may be establish and whether potential compensation should be paid to the incumbents. Any compensation payment would likely fall to the taxpayer.” – Oil and Gas Australia.
“This confirms what we already knew, that Territorians will be faced with higher cost of living as a result of the CLP and their obsession with privatizing our public assets,” said Ms Fyles.
“Mr Peter van Duyn, a maritime logistics expert with the Victoria University’s Institute for Supply Chain and Logistics, also confirmed what we’ve known all along – that the “lease” of our Darwin Port, and increases to the berth and other rates, are an apparent move to raise the sale price and sell the Port off in the future.
“Privatising Darwin Port will hike up transport costs for everyday goods, hurting the hip pocket.
“Businesses will be faced with higher transport costs, hurting their businesses and they’ll be forced to pass on costs to customers.
“Adam Giles and the arrogant CLP Government rammed through the sale of the Port without any public consultation or a mandate, just like the TIO sale.
“The CLP government doesn’t listen to the community or experts and Territorians will be the ones who literally pay the price for the CLP’s arrogance.”
Media Contact Gino Luglietti 0401 119 794
Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie, today called on the Federal Government to provide Territory input into the Northern Australia Insurance Premiums taskforce.
“The establishment of this Taskforce is an acknowledgment of the real risk to Territorians of skyrocketing premiums following Adam Giles selling TIO,” Ms Lawrie said.
“Adam Giles sold TIO without a public mandate and in the face of evidence of market failure in Queensland following the sale of their public insurer.
Head of the Senate Inquiry, Warren Entsch, publicly stated on ABC Radio that he warned Adam Giles not to sell TIO, saying, “I was concerned that by selling it we would end up in the same situation we are in the rest of Northern Australia.”*
The Federal Senate Inquiry heard evidence that following the sale of Suncorp in Queensland, insurance became unaffordable or unavailable, and insurers withdrew cover in some regions.
“The Federal Government’s Taskforce is a welcome response to the recommendations of the Senate Inquiry into the Development of Northern Australia to reduce insurance premiums back to an affordable level,” Ms Lawrie said.
“It has been reported the Taskforce will consider two options: a government-run reinsurance pool or community-owned Northern Australia mutual insurer providing cyclone-specific cover.
“We want to ensure that flood and storm-surge cover is also considered, alongside cyclone cover, as well as the provision of affordable contents insurance for non-home owners.
The Northern Territory Chamber of Commerce and the NT Council of Social Service are two organisations that could represent Territory industry and community on the Taskforce, to address concerns about affordability and accessibility of insurance coverage in the Territory.
“With three months to prepare an interim report, I call on the Federal Government to immediately invite Territory participation onto the Taskforce and release the consultation plan to ensure there is appropriate community and stakeholder engagement.”
*ABC Radio 12 November 2014
Media contact: Louise Connor 0438 241 211
Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie, said that Chief Minister Adam Giles is pushing ahead with plans to sell TIO against the wishes of Territorians.
"Territorians do not want TIO privatised," Ms Lawrie said.
Labor Candidate for Casuarina Lauren Moss has been providing a TIO Not For Sale petition at her Casuarina Shopping Square stall for weeks.
Ms Moss said that Territorians were keen to sign up against the sale of TIO.
“It’s very clear that people don’t want their insurance office sold. People are very concerned about their local banking services and insurance coverage staying in local hands,” Ms Moss said.
Ms Lawrie condemned the CLP for using a cash-grab sale to override the wishes of Territorians without a mandate.
“Voters went to the last election believing the CLP were vehemently opposed to a sale of TIO. Adam Giles has no mandate to sell our insurer,” Ms Lawrie said.
“It is disgusting for Adam Giles to say a sale of TIO would provide a new special needs Henbury School and improved parking at Royal Darwin Hospital when the extra $33 million he is spending on his own Department of Chief Minister would adequately cover this infrastructure.
"Territorians need the specific insurance coverage provided by TIO. Without it residents in flood regions like Katherine will be left vulnerable.
“The CLP Government is pushing forward with a narrow minded quick cash-grab without consideration of the negative effects this move will have on Territorians.
“If the CLP Government wants to sell TIO they need to take the policy to the next general election and let Territorians decide if they want their asset sold.”
Media contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667
Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie, today said that as a parting gift by the former Treasurer, Dave Tollner, Territorians are set to be hit with another price hike in their power and water bills.
“In a letter to PowerWater Corporation Chairman, Ken Clarke, the former Treasurer and Shareholding Minister, Dave Tollner, directed the Corporation to increase network charges by 7.7 per cent in 2014-15 and a further 8 per cent in 2015-16,” Ms Lawrie said.
“Mr Tollner gave this direction to Power Water Corporation two months ago.
“These will be price hikes on top of the 5 per cent increase Territorians will be hit with in January next year – which is also on top of the $2000 an average Territory family has already had to find to cover power bill increases since the election of the CLP Government.”
Ms Lawrie said that the CLP Government has made PowerWater vulnerable by splitting off the revenue earners of Generation and Retail.
“In splitting up PowerWater the CLP Government has made a catastrophic mistake by taking away PowerWater’s revenue earning components; generation and retail,” Ms Lawrie said.
“Now Territorians will have to pay higher bills to cover the short fall needed to pay network charges.
“Territorians are already paying too much for their power, water and sewerage bills and this Government is signing off on more increases.
“The CLP Government’s preoccupation with privatising the Territory’s utilities assets will mean even more pain is on its way. Structural separation and privatisation of utilities in other states has resulted in price hikes.”
Shadow Minister for Essential Services, Nicole Manison, today said that the introduction of a new private power station will not mean cheaper power for Territorians.
“This will not mean a family living in the Top End can expect cheaper power bills,” Ms Manison said.
“The new power station that is set to be built by Northern Power and General Electric near Weddell is unlikely to result in lower power prices for Territorians.
“In other jurisdictions where utilities have undergone structural separation and privatisation the result was higher costs and reduced reliability of service.
“This is another step towards the CLP Government’s ultimate goal of privatisation of PowerWater.
“The new power station will sell the electricity they generate to energy retailers who will be focused on making profits, not providing affordable reliable services for customers.
“Electricity and water are essential services for Territorians, and need to be reliable and affordable.
“They should not be used as profit making tools for the CLP Government.”
Shadow Minister for Government Accountability, Ken Vowles, today said that further evidence has arisen that the CLP Government is pushing ahead with their privatisation plans for Darwin Ports.
“The CLP Government has begun a baseline review of Darwin Ports; they are clearly sizing up this important public asset for sale,” Mr Vowles said.
“Treasurer, Dave Tollner, confirmed earlier this week on ABC Drive that they “haven’t ruled out privatisations” for all of the Territory’s public assets.
“The CLP Government is hell-bent on selling off the Territory’s assets for quick cash grabs and the Darwin Ports is in the crosshairs.
“The privatisation of the Darwin port is an attack on jobs and cost of living in the Territory.”
Mr Vowles said that the privatisation of Darwin Ports would have a detrimental effect on Territorians; especially those employed at the ports.
“If a private company was to take over the operations of the port infrastructure in Darwin Territorians would be at the mercy of their commercial decisions,” Mr Vowles.
“Territory businesses transporting goods through the port will have to pay transport costs determined by a private profit-seeking company – increases in transport costs would be passed onto Territorians to bear.
“Workers at the port previously covered by NT Government EBA’s would lose the security of their current working conditions.
Mr Vowles said the CLP Government is pushing to sell the Territory’s public assets without a mandate.
“The CLP Government does not have permission from Territorians to sell off their valuable assets,” Mr Vowles said.