Labor calls out 'sham inquiry' into power privatisation

LABOR has accused the NSW Government of holding a "sham inquiry" into the proposed privatisation of the electricity network, after attempts to amend its terms of reference were blocked in parliament.

Shadow Energy Minister Adam Searle said the government had used its numbers in the Legislative Council to limit the inquiry's scope.

Efforts to have the inquiry investigate the plan's impact on the budget and its capacity to deliver services were not allowed.

Nor was an investigation into how the assets would be returned to state control after the 99-year lease had run its course.

"This is one of the biggest transactions ever conducted in NSW and it should be open to full and proper scrutiny of the parliament," Mr Searle said.

"Instead, the government has ensured the terms of reference of the inquiry are limited and do not examine crucial areas such as the impact on the state's finances as a result of the loss of dividends and other payments from these profitable businesses now owned by the community.

"The government has not released the legislation that will govern this transaction.

"Without having the key details about how the transaction will be structured, the committee will not be able to properly evaluate the government's plan."

Mr Searle also attacked the Baird Government for its "unreasonably short" timeframe for people to make submissions to the inquiry.

"This has all the hallmarks of a sham inquiry that has already decided on the outcome," he said.

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