Belkin, a long-time campaigner for opening up the delivery of infrastructure -- poles, wires and substations -- to private industry, says these new examples of careless use of taxpayer funds must make government leaders take notice of the problem.
“It appears that as more information is being collected on exactly how funds are being spent on public infrastructure works, the more we are beginning to appreciate what happens when government bureaucracies with fat budgets spend money - not efficiently”
“Without any competition or corporate accountability, beaches of national electricity guidelines, and subsequent cost blowouts, result in higher network charges to consumers” continued Mr Belkin. We’ve just found that one state-owned energy company spent $40 million of taxpayers money on infrastructure that is not even hooked up to the grid.”
On the surface, this may appear to be just a hiccup in project timing, but Mr Belkin says it is far more serious.
“A report prepared for the Australian Energy Market Commission cited this example as just one of the $1 billion overspent on the Sydney power distribution network in the period 2005-2009” he said. “The report revealed that the substation would not even be required for another 10 years.”
Mr Belkin (http://www.electricitywizard.com.au) has again called for the opening up to private enterprise of electricity infrastructure work, or, at the very least, transparent and stringent oversight from regulators.
“It is unfair, even heartless, in these challenging economic times, to ask taxpayers to keep financing public sector works that are not adding productivity to our capacity” he said. “At Electricity Wizard we are pulling out all stops to get better electricity prices for Australians by offering a genuine price comparison service. But it is up to the State and Federal Governments to make the big decisions that will bring down the cost of electricity supply.”
Electricity price comparisons for Australians can be made at ElectricityWizard.com.au
About Electricity Wizard
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The Australian gas and electricity market is one of the most competitive in the world - with dozens of companies, making it extremely difficult to know if you’re choosing the right plan for you.
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