Pauline Hanson, Privatisation: “Don’t sell our assets”

Pauline Hanson has waded into the growing controversy over the Baird government’s part privatisation of power company Ausgrid , telling federal Treasurer Scott Morrison: “Don’t sell our assets”.
The One Nation senator has posted a video on her Facebook page, noting that Mr Morrison has “on his desk” decisions about three potential asset sales: Ausgrid, gas company Alinta and health company GenesisCare.
The sales are being scrutinised by the Foreign Investment Review Board, which will advise Mr Morrison on federal government approval.
Pauline Hanson’s message to Scott Morrison: ‘Don’t sell Ausgrid’
The NSW government is leasing 50.4 per cent of Ausgrid on a 99-year lease in a deal expected to be worth more than $10 billion.
Senator Pauline Hanson has warned Treasurer Scott Morrison about asset sales to foreign interests.
Senator Pauline Hanson has warned Treasurer Scott Morrison about asset sales to foreign interests. Photo: SBS Publicity
One bidder is the Chinese government-owned State Grid Corporation. The other is the listed, Hong Kong-based company Cheung Kong Infrastructure.
Despite Ausgrid being one of three electricity distributors in NSW, Senator Hanson says it would mean “all the electricity in NSW [is] to be sold to overseas interests”.
“Why would communist China want to own our electricity?” she asks. “Are you concerned? You should be. So am I. Alarm bells are ringing.”
“No foreign government, especially communist China, should own and have control of our electricity here in Australia.”
Senator Hanson tells Mr Morrison: “Scott, we don’t want our assets sold … don’t sell our assets” and urges viewers to “protest” to his office.
Senator Hanson’s comments come after Independent Senator Nick Xenophon asked for assurances from Mr Morrison that advice has been sought from ASIO and Defence about a successful State Grid bid.
Independent MP Bob Katter has also expressed concerns about selling control of “essential strategic services” to a Chinese government-owned entity.
The NSW government has allowed bids for Ausgrid to be conditional on approval by the Foreign Investment Review Board, which will examine them in coming weeks.
The government will also lease 50.4 per cent of distributor Endeavour Energy, but has decided to keep Essential Energy, which services regional NSW, in public ownership.
Last year high-voltage electricity company Transgrid was privatised by the Baird government for $10.3 billion to a consortium comprised of a Canadian pension fund, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and local infrastructure funds.

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