Mike Baird confirms NSW will challenge the Australian Energy Regulator's price cuts.
Mike Baird confirms NSW will challenge the Australian Energy Regulator's price cuts. Marc Stapelberg

Baird won’t back down on keeping power prices up

PREMIER Mike Baird has no intention of following his northern counterpart's lead on cutting power prices.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Thursday directed electricity networks to accept the Australian Energy Regulator's decision to slash their prices.

But Mr Baird confirmed NSW would push ahead with its legal challenge against the decision.

He added the government's planned 99-year lease of poles and wires infrastructure had Labor MP Chris Minns's secret support.

"Throughout the election campaign, Opposition members said to Government members, 'Listen, you lease the poles and wires. We cannot do it. We know it puts downward pressure on prices, but we cannot do it'," Mr Baird claimed.

"They all said it, including the member for Kogarah."

The AER's April 30 decision to slash the state's energy networks' revenue by one-third has been opposed from both directions.

Networks NSW, the government body that runs Ausgrid, Essential Energy and Endeavour Energy, argues the cuts are too heavy for it to maintain safe and reliable services.

Consumer group the Public Interest Advocacy Centre is planning its own legal challenge on the basis the cuts should be deeper.

Mr Baird said the government's legal action would not falter.

"I would have thought that Labor would want some kind of transition for the workers," he said.

"The government also takes the advice of experts on safety. We want to ensure that the networks operate safely.

"That is the reason for the appeal."


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