News

Nationals to let poles and wires be leased

ESSENTIAL Energy will be quarantined from the State's electricity infrastructure sell-off after a long and tense party room meeting.

Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis, who was opposed to the sale of the State's poles and wires said the Nationals had been able to "negotiate a compromise that will see a significant benefit for regional people".

Under the deal, Essential Energy, which covers around 90% of the State's land mass will remain in public hands. The other 49% of the distribution and transmission network will be put out for a 99-year lease expected to raise $20 billion for the State. Of that, 30% will be earmarked for regional infrastructure.

Premier Mike Baird and Nationals leader Andrew Stoner said the package includes a $1 billion Regional Roads Fund, a $1 billion Regional Water Fund and a statewide $2 billion Schools and Hospitals Building Fund.

"This is a once in a generation opportunity to secure the long-term future of communities right across our great State," Mr Baird said.

"The centrepiece of the package is a series of future funds to build and upgrade hospitals, schools, roads and water infrastructure throughout regional NSW.

"This injection will ensure regional communities get access to world-class infrastructure, as well as creating jobs in regional areas and securing a pipeline of investment."

Lismore MP Thomas George said it was "the best deal we could come out with" and it would only go ahead if the Liberals and Nationals were re-elected in March.

Opposition leader John Robertson called it a bad deal for NSW families because it would drive up prices and deprive the State of $1 billion in revenue every year.

"Mike Baird is trying to sell the people of NSW a lemon - the community knows instinctively that a private company will not spend billions of dollars buying our electricity network to cut power bills for families," Mr Robertson said.

Topics:  electricity infrastructure, poles and wires




7 dramatic near misses on the Northern Rivers

ONCE BITTEN: Evans Head resident Craig Ison with the board he was riding when he was attacked by a great white shark at Main Beach. In the background is the new board made for him by his good friend Darin Reilly.  Photo Samantha Elley / Express Examiner

Lucky escapes, heroic rescues and eleventh-hour reprieves

Healthy outlook for hospital facilities in Coraki

FRESH START: Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis, Paula Starkey, Claire Hetherington and George Thompson turn the first sod on Coraki's $4 million HealthOne facility.

Work is set to commence on a $4 million HealthOne.

‘Demolish it now’: Iconic waterfront cafe now an eyesore

SQUALOR: Cr Jeff Johnson is pictured inside the former Shelly’s on the Beach Cafe building.

The building has been trashed and squatters have moved in

Latest deals and offers

Harry's MasterChef exit makes way for all-Noosa grand final

Harry Foster congratulates MasterChef finalists Elena Duggan and Matt Sinclair after a closely-fought semi-final.

YOUNG Rocky-born cook now working in his dream job in Tasmania.

Kim Kardashian West bemused by selfie 'drama'

Kim didn't expect her naked selfie to cause the stir it did

Alicia Vikander hasn't been home since Oscars

Alicia Vikander "hasn't been home" for nearly nine months.

Tom Hiddleston not worried about relationship attention

Attention doesn't bother 'authentic' Hiddleston

Robbie Williams and Ayda Field to expand family?

Robbie Williams and Ayda Field want more children.

THE HARD WORD: Werewolves set to prowl around Lismore

Loaded Entertainment will bring Lycanthrope to Lismore. Photo Contributed

Newcastle metal band Lycanthrope will head here as part of a tour

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

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

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

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started