Poles and wires: a good time to sell

The NSW state election was, in effect, a ballot on a single issue: whether to privatise half of the states electricity distribution system. I won’t get into the politics of that choice but it is worthwhile making a few points about the sale.Critics say that, collectively, the distribution system paid a dividend of $1.7bn to the state and that selling such a cash cow is bad business. They also suggest private owners would simply increase charges on a monopoly asset.Rubbish. Network charges are regulated by the Australian Energy Regulator. Every few years, networks have to make submissions to the regulator...

The NSW state election was, in effect, a ballot on a single issue: whether to privatise half of the states electricity distribution system. I won’t get into the politics of that choice but it is worthwhile making a few points about the sale.

Critics say that, collectively, the distribution system paid a dividend of $1.7bn to the state and that selling such a cash cow is bad business. They also suggest private owners would simply increase charges on a monopoly asset.

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