Sale of power and new harbour rail crossing…the Premier explains

June 12, 2014 by Mike Baird
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NSW Premier Mike Baird explains to J-Wire readers his government’s plans to build a new rail crossing under the harbour and how it will be financed…


From: Mike Baird, Premier of NSW


Mike Baird

Mike Baird

If re-elected in March 2015, the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will lease 49 per cent of the State’s electricity assets, or poles and wires network businesses, to unlock $20 billion in infrastructure funding as we do everything possible to speed up projects after 16 years of Labor neglect.

The money will provide the backbone of our vision for NSW. The centrepiece of the plan will see a brand new rail line tunnelled underneath Sydney Harbour as part of a new rapid transit network for the city that will operate as a turn-up-and-go service.

Our roads and rail networks, our schools and hospitals, and our water infrastructure haven’t kept up with our growing population. Now we are seeing the consequences -particularly in the area of transport – and both our quality of life and the productivity of our workplaces are suffering as a result.

Unlike NSW Labor, I am simply not prepared to let these problems fester, so that they drag down our economy and pose even greater challenges for our children and grandchildren.

Our vision is our biggest plan yet to tackle Sydney’s clogged roads and crowded trains.

The Sydney Rapid Transit line is an exciting project that will include an extension to the North West Rail Link and a second Harbour rail crossing beneath Sydney Harbour. The line would then stop in at three brand new underground stations in the CBD, reducing crowding at Wynyard and Town Hall, before going on to Bankstown. This line would increase the number of peak hour trains by 60 per cent and improve journey times and comfort for people across the whole rail network.

We’ve also announced two extensions to WestConnex, which would provide an uninterrupted motorway from Sydney’s south to the ANZAC Bridge, CBD at Darling Harbour and Sydney’s north. An expanded WestConnex would provide significant relief to the City West Link at Haberfield, with drivers on the M4 able to completely avoid the City West Link on their way into the city.

These major rail and road projects are only possible if we go ahead with our plan to lease 49 per cent of the State’s electricity network businesses.

I am committed to doing all I can to keeping electricity prices as low as possible and I can assure you the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government has looked into concerns in the community about the impact any lease would have on your power bills.

Independent research carried out by Ernst & Young found network prices for typical residential customers in Victoria and South Australia have fallen in real terms since privatisation in the 1990s, while network prices in NSW and Queensland increased in real terms by well over 100 per cent in the same period.

Over the next 10 months, get ready for the mother-of-all scare campaigns to be unleashed by the unions and NSW Labor that simply isn’t backed up by the facts, which we have made publicly available.

Despite the research, we understand people will still have concerns about the proposed lease and I can assure you that the transaction will only take place if the NSW Liberals & Nationals win a mandate at the 2015 election.

I would encourage everyone to familiarise themselves with the vision my team is putting forward and participate in the community consultation that will be taking place later this year.

For more information, and to have your say, visit:


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