The truth about privatisation in Sydney
“The list of public assets sold off under the current government grows longer in each year of its term. Power and energy infrastructure, buses, the land titles office, superannuation administration and water treatment plants. It’s all helped create a huge $4.5bn surplus in the last state budget.
Hogan sees the NSW government’s eagerness for privatisation as an example of evidence-based policy making way for ideology. The sell-off of the state’s land titles office stands out.
“The land titles is again a silly one, there’s just no need for it. It will result in higher costs to consumers, which is what they’re usually saying they’re against,” he said.
The privatisation of NSW’s inner west buses, announced in May, elicits similar criticisms. The transport minister, Andrew Constance, reasoned the sell-off was needed because inner-west buses drew the most complaints and were the slowest in the state.
Again, the evidence was questionable.
A Guardian Australia analysis showed that, per capita, buses in the inner-west were nowhere near the most complained about. They were marginally the slowest, but comparing travel times in heavily congested inner-west suburbs to other areas of Sydney was a weak rationale for privatising a region’s entire bus fleet.
At the same time, the government confirmed it would not be privatising buses on the lower north shore and northern beaches, which would retain State Transit as their provider.”