MEDIA RELEASE

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Unions NSW Secretary Mark Lennon is urging Premier Mike Baird to hear and respect the avalanche of evidence showing clearly what working people have long told him: NSW does not want privatisation of key public assets.

A new Fairfax/Ipsos poll today shows fewer than one in four voters support Mr Baird’s proposed privatisation of NSW’s energy assets.

The polling follows research that indicates the stunning defeat of the Newman Government in Queensland was due primarily to discontent about the privatisation of public assets.

Mr Lennon said Mr Baird needed to show more respect to the views of the electorate.

“Mr Baird needs to be very careful he does not catch a bad case of Tony Abbott’s Tin Ear when it comes to listening to the community,” Mr Lennon said.

“In a democracy, governments need to be responsive to the communities who have elected them to serve. The message to the Baird Government could not be any clearer: the people of NSW do not want their electricity assets privatised.

“Conservative commentators can wail and deride the views of the public as much as they like - the fact is that people are not stupid. They have taken a good look at the issue of electricity privatisation and they have correctly judged that the benefits are simply not there. Working people know that local jobs will be lost, they know that prices will go up, and they know that the quality and reliability of services will suffer.

“The Premier should learn from the mistakes of the Liberal National Party in Queensland - and Victoria - who felt the impact of misguided privatisation policies at the ballot box. As things stand he is staring down the barrel of a similar voter backlash.

“Mr Baird would be well advised to take privatisation off the table while he still has a chance and have a go at concentrating on the real issues that people want addressed, including health and education.”

Further comment: Mark Lennon 0427 231 800
Further info: Saoirse Connolly 0437 048 169

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