The great power debate


New South Wales needs investment in electricity and public transport. Whether these assets are privately or publicly owned, there will be the same requirements for labour and materials to construct them, and the same demands on financial markets for billions of dollars of debt and equity finance.

The issue of public or private ownership should be a secondary one, based on consideration of risk and market failure, rather than some illogical notion that the government cannot afford to make these investments, for, whichever way, the people of NSW will have to pay for them.

Is it that we have been conditioned to believe that all public debt is bad, even when that debt is used to finance productive assets? Or is it that the government believes it is incapable of managing public assets efficiently, and rather than improving its management, wants to shove responsibility off to the private sector?

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