Electricity network privatisation is currently a point of much contention Western Sydney. Voters have made it clear they are not interested in listening to Premier Baird’s suggestion that leasing the energy network will bring $20 billion to the public and ultimately provide funding for infrastructure of new roads.
In spite of the personal appeal from Baird to the locals, it has not swayed them when it comes to the issue of electricty network privatisation.
Electricity network proposal a topic of debate in Sydney
The key question that has emerged for the NSW election is whether Baird’s popular personal appeal can endure the growing resentment against the electricity network privatisation. This has been very clear from the research results published in Fairfax Media by Visibility during the thick of the campaign period.
A majority of the voters had a number of points raised that involved road congestion and traffic. These issues are primary concerns of the public. Voters did not hesitate to share their stories about the M4 and the Parramatta Road, where traffic is clearly at its worse.
They were, however, indifferent to the roads constructed by the government and ignored any announcements that were linked to the privatisation of the electricity network.
Traffic congestion a major issue amongst voters in the Sydney district
In spite of the assurance of Premier Mike Baird that privatisation is basically a recycling of assets, the people separates privatisation from the issue of congestion, according to Mr Mitchelmore, who has experienced a total of 9 federal and state elections.
He added that Baird is bringing the Liberal vote to swinging voters. The focus groups that consist of those who changed their vote in 2011 to Liberal made a suggestion of a swing again back to Labour.
Such is an act will be pushed by electricity network privatisation as well as natural return of voters. Privatisation seemingly a primary reason for the increasing support for the return to Labour.
On the other hand, the infrastructure promised by the Baird government are undermined by the public’s general doubt towards any politician’s promises.
Baird government losing favour with their local electorate
“Baird is losing the communication game badly,” according to Mr Mitchelmore. He added that voters equate privatisation of the electricity network with much higher energy prices when people are already in a tough situation with the high cost of living.
This is the sentiment of voters in spite of prices believed to be falling during the next 5 years. Voters are of the belief that privatisation is simply a short-term solution and that the government assets will just return the money as payment for government services.
The fact that the swinging voters are still unconvinced with the research-based support for electricity network privatization is a cause for Baird to become worried. In the end, the upcoming election will be a sure sign of whether the likeable premier has taken things a step to far with his energy proposal.
Photo courtesy of Kate Ausburn on Flickr