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Byron Shire
March 1, 2021

NSW debt falls thanks to power sale

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The sale of power assets has given the NSW budget a boost. (file pic)
The sale of power assets has given the NSW budget a boost. (file pic)

The sale of one of the state’s biggest electricity assets is expected to contribute to a sharp drop in the NSW government’s debt.

The budget half-yearly review, which will be released on Thursday, will show net debt fell more than $8 billion to be only $1.8 billion at June 30, 2016.

That’s largely due to the higher than expected price for the state’s poles and wires business, TransGrid, the first of three valuable electricity assets to be sold off.

The state government last month announced an international consortium, led by Australian infrastructure fund Hastings, secured the 99-year lease for $10.258 billion.

NSW is expected to net more than $7 billion after $3 billion of debt is repaid.

The state’s debt would be effectively zero if the Commonwealth’s Asset Recycling Initiative contribution of $2 billion is taken into account but this criteria is yet to be met, Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian said.

The mid-year review is also expected to show surpluses averaging $2.6 billion over the next four years.

The state government is well placed to deliver its $20 billion Rebuilding NSW program, Ms Berejiklian said.

“’We will build the roads, rail, hospital, schools and cultural institutions this state needs,’ she said.

The federal government’s recent cuts to health and education, which will take effect in 2017, will add to the state’s medium term budget pressures, the Treasurer also warned.

‘We remain committed to ongoing discussions with our state and federal counterparts on finding more suitable revenue streams to fund our growing health and education needs,’ she said.

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