The NSW Treasurer Andrew Constance should butt out of what are normal enterprise agreement negotiations between the Electrical Trades Union and state owned electricity companies.

Unions NSW Secretary Mark Lennon said the Treasurer is attempting to use the EBA dispute in the electricity industry as an excuse to divert attention from the Baird Government’s unpopular privatisation agenda. 

“This is just an industrial dispute, nothing more nothing less,” Mr Lennon said. 

“Unions have the right to take action just as employers do. What the Treasurer and the Premier should be doing is listening to the community and rethinking privatisation.” 

“Only 23 per cent of the electorate support selling off public assets and the fate of the LNP Government in Queensland should be a warning to Premier Mike Baird and his Treasurer that they will face a voter backlash unless they abandon the sale of the state’s electricity network. 

“Reports that $1 billion worth of government property has also been sold off over the last two years shows that this government believes selling off our assets is the only answer. This is a short-term fix, not a long term strategy,” Mr Lennon said. 

“The Treasurer should be doing more to manage the state’s finances instead of concentrating on transferring valuable public assets to the business community.

Networks NSW has indicated they are planning large scale job cuts along with the selloff, with more than nine thousand electricity workers being offered voluntary redundancy. Up to 4000 jobs are flagged to be on the chopping block. 

“Maintaining a safe and reliable electricity supply is a key responsibility of the NSW Government and the Premier and the Treasurer need to understand that voters are sensitive to the threats being posed to the electricity system by the proposed sale,” Mr Lennon said.  

The Government’s secret fire sale of public assets has seen real estate worth a billion dollars transferred out of public hands over the past two years. 

Among the valuable properties sold are seven office blocks worth $400 million, the Ausgrid building in Sydney's CBD for $151 million, and justice precinct buildings in Parramatta worth $170 million.

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