OPINION: Snowy Hydro sale would damage rural communities


Letter submitted by Ray Seymour, Queanbeyan

Recently I wrote to the Member for Eden-Monaro (largely a rural population as per his website) Dr Peter Hendy, concerning the privatisation of the NSW poles and wires infrastructure.

Dr Hendy rightly directed me to the state Member for Monaro, John Barilaro, who stated he is against the privatisation of the distribution assets and Snowy Hydro.

On April 4, I wrote another letter to Dr Hendy requesting information concerning the Federal Government’s sale of Snowy Hydro.

Part of my letter is below.

“As a resident of Eden-Monaro, this issue concerns me greatly as any privatisation will harm rural customers through higher electricity prices.

“In addition the negative employment impact for our local community, in particular Cooma, will be devastating.”

I have yet to receive a reply from Dr Hendy.       

Privatisation will inevitably mean higher energy costs and less employment in rural towns.

Coupled with the above, rural communities will further suffer economically as there will be less wages going into the basic infrastructure, as employment opportunities disappear, almost certainly lead to tougher economic times for rural communities.  

Citizens will leave rural towns to seek employment elsewhere to support their families leading to the inevitable loss of professional services (teachers, nurses and so on) due to decreasing population statistics.

I, for one, would encourage Dr Hendy to publicly state his intentions to support his rural electorate, just as his counterpart in Monaro has declared.

Editor's note: In a neat coincidence, Peter Hendy and Member for Bega Andrew Constance responded to BDN questions on these matters the same day Mr Seymour's letter arrived. There are still questions over the privatisation of NSW poles and wires so we offer this opinion piece for readers' perusal and feel free to join the conversation by taking part in our poll and/or commenting below via Disqus.


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