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NSW ports sell-off 'will go ahead', government confirms
30/07/2012 - Plans for a multi-billion dollar privatisation of Port Botany and Port Kembla shipping facilities will go ahead, the NSW government has confirmed.
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Treasurer Mike Baird said 99-year lease transactions would proceed in late 2012, following recommendations from a scoping study.
"We are facing an immense challenge to fund the backlog of critical infrastructure across NSW and more needs to be done to free-up the vital funds needed to deliver long overdue road, school and hospital projects across NSW," Baird said in a statement.
The leasing of Port Botany, announced in the May 2011 budget, will also include the Enfield and Cooks River logistics sites in Sydney, which are presently owned by the Sydney Ports Corporation.
The government expects to raise up to $2.2 billion from this privatisation, with proceeds being directed towards upgrading the Pacific and Princes highways.
The privatisation of Port Kembla was announced in this year's budget, with Baird announcing proceeds from the $500 million lease would be invested in major infrastructure projects, with a third of the funding reserved for regional areas.
The plan has $100 million earmarked for projects in the Illawarra.
The transactions are expected to formally begin in the fourth quarter of 2012, with a view to completing the transactions in the first half of 2013, Baird said in a joint statement with Ports Minister Duncan Gay.
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Jennifer Ward | 30/07/2012 13:23 1
Well I hope that the buyer is a 'friendly' country. The amount of essential transport infrastructure sold around the world to potential enemies and/or those which will have a contrary view to national security is disturbing.
Guy Fawlkes | 30/07/2012 17:43 2
Why not sell the whole country and live on the proceeds? Then you can compete with Nauru.
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