Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New England's missing millions

Just at present, all those living in NSW have been hit by very large increases in electricity prices. The increase is greatest in the country.

In previous posts I described the way that the Sydney Government seized county council electricity assets. Sydney's 1995 electricity heist provides a potted summary of the history.

In a letter to the Armidale Express (18 July 2011), Hugh Cameron from Wollomombi asked what had happened to the $15 million that the New England Electricity County Council had accumulated to fund future replacement of infrastructure in its area. As Mr Cameron notes, this money was raised from margins on charges to customers.

The money was, of course, stripped out and used to fund Sydney Government operations. Now former NECC customers are being asked to pay more to replace aging infrastructure that would (should) have been funded from those reserves.

This is a double whammy. First the reserve funds raised from NECC customers were taken, and now those same customers are being asked to pay for replacement infrastructure.

It hardly seems fair. It would be interesting to get a proper accounting of just how the $15 million was spent.       

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