NSW flogs family silver to fund population ponzi

By Leith van Onselen

The extent of the NSW Government’s asset sales has been laid bare in a budget estimates hearing. From The ABC [My emphasis]:

The New South Wales Government has sold off more than 20,000 properties including schools and public housing dwellings since it came into office in 2011, raking in more than $9.1 billion.

The figures were confirmed during a budget estimates hearing, where Finance Minister Victor Dominello was forced to defend the extent of the asset sales.

“It’s in the context of $142 billion worth of assets that we’ve got,” Mr Dominello said.

The hearing was told there was another $1 billion of property sales “in the pipeline”.

Upper House Labor MP Daniel Mookhey said the government was approaching a situation where 10 per cent of its asset base would be sold off.

Social Housing properties were among the biggest sellers.

Chief Executive of Property NSW Brett Newman said the Department of Family and Community Services had put more than 4,000 social housing dwellings under the hammer…

Mr Newman also confirmed that the government had sold more than 380 Department of Education properties.

During the hearing, Mr Mookhey asked Mr Newman to guarantee none of the education properties would have to bought back, given soaring enrolment figures and increasing over-crowding in schools.

“I cannot sit here and give you a guarantee that the Department of Education may not need to buy back any asset the Government has previously sold in the past,” Mr Newman replied.

“But the way the department usually operates is it actually looks to identify and recycle often surplus parts of properties and under-utilised sites and then it uses those proceeds to go and buy new sites.”

Wow. So the NSW Government will soon have sold-off roughly 10% of publicly owned-assets in just six years!

Perhaps the Government feels that it has no choice in the matter. With NSW’s population growing at a break-neck pace, which is expected to continue for decades into the future (see below charts).

The NSW Government knows that without major ongoing spending on roads, schools, hospitals, public transport, and all other forms of physical and social infrastructure, NSW will become even more crush-loaded, destroying living standards for the incumbent population and leading to a voter backlash.

However, selling-off public assets to raise money to service an ever-growing population can only be a short-to-medium term solution. Over the longer-term, the government risks exhausting its pool of profitable public assets to sell, whereas under a program of endless mass population growth (immigration), demand for new infrastructure and services will continue indefinitely.

There is another option at hand that does not require borrowing: publicly demand that the federal government slashes Australia’s immigration intake, which is the primary driver of NSW’s rapid population growth, and/or demand that it provide direct funding to the states to cope with population growth.

It is the population influx bestowed on NSW by the federal government’s mass immigration program that has caused the pressures on economic and social infrastructure (e.g. roads and public transport, schools and hospitals), and has driven the imperative to sell-off public assets. Therefore, the federal government should share responsibility for providing a solution.

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Comments

    • Not if you work for the government. You can get a cushy job from your mates that you you sold it to, when you leave office.

      Bob Carr got a cushy $1M per year “consulting” job from Macquarie Bank after giving them monopolies on Sydney airport and extra taxi licences. Sydney airport is now the 2nd most expensive in the world.

      Mike Baird now has a mates job at NAB who profited greatly from his sales of NSW power assets. NSW power prices are now among the highest in the world.

  1. This is the sort of issue that really peeves the public. Queensland’s repudiation of Campbell Newman should be a fable for Aussie politicians.

      • Yeah – but the LNP was thrashed at their first re-election point despite a sizeable majority. Pollies tend to do things so that they keep office – how else do you explain the policies of Turnbull/Abbot/Gillard………

  2. The problems will not start when they’ve sold 80% of the assets – the problems will start a lot earlier – potentially when less than 50% would have been sold. However – for the current mob, they won’t be an issue – they’ll be long out of politics, chewing on their fat pension and/or in cushy sinecures brought to them by the very same kleptocrats who bought the assets.

  3. I was at a shopping center in Lane Cove, Sydney this weekend, when I saw first-hand how overloaded the emergency services are. A lady there had had a stroke, and was vomiting and could not move the one side of her face or body.

    Early treatment in stroke cases is critical – it makes the difference between the life of a vegetable with severe disability and almost full recovery.

    The ambulance took 50 minutes to arrive. We could have driven her to Royal North Shore in 10!

    • Yeah, but, so long as things here are not as bad as they are in Bangladesh, we’re supposed to say that it’s fine, and you would be called racist for saying otherwise.

      • I remember Lindsay Tanner using Bangladesh as some sort of supposedly admirable example of how massive densities of people could be managed. I had previously thought he was ok (for a politician) but spouting that nonsense led me to realise he was just another pawn of the big end of town or possibly the building unions, but definitely not on the side of the general (existing) population.

    • As someone who works in a major public ED I can only agree. Apart from the increasing demand on ambulance services, traffic congestion is so bad that even with lights and sirens, it takes far too long for patients to get to us.

      To keep up with the approximately 1800 people flooding into Sydney each week, the state Government needs to provide at least 6 new acute hospital beds every week, or build a new Westmead, St George or Royal North Shore Hospital every 2 years. When was the last time you heard about a new tertiary hospital being opened in Sydney?? I didn’t think so.

      At present the state Government is three hospitals or approximately 2000 beds behind the long term average rate and I can tell you that health care is being compromised every single day by the failure to keep up. Even if the Government wakes up to its obligations, where is it going to put all these new hospitals? All of the sites that might have been used are filled or are being filled up with flammable dog boxes and toll roads.

  4. What about all those stamp duty revenues? NSW government should be rolling in cash without any need for asset sales. They don’t seem to have spent much on infrastructure anyway.

  5. Good stuff. Public housing tenants should not be living in multi million dollar houses. As soon as the left wants to stop being SJW retards the rest of Australia is here to talk. The first step is them admitting that they’re some of the biggest morons in all of human history, apologising profusely and begging for forgiveness. Can’t see that happening soon.