Letters to the editor

PIC OF THE DAY: A perfect day at Currarong snapped by Dannie and Matt Connolly Photography. Submit entries via nicolette.pickard@fairfaxmedia.com.au
PIC OF THE DAY: A perfect day at Currarong snapped by Dannie and Matt Connolly Photography. Submit entries via nicolette.pickard@fairfaxmedia.com.au

Outstanding employer

Congratulations to Nowra-based Shoalhaven Water for taking out the Large Employer of the Year award at the 2017 NSW State Training Award.

The annual NSW Training Awards showcase the world class vocational education and training (VET) offered in NSW and acknowledges the very best VET students as well as its many outstanding training providers, students, teachers and employers.

Shoalhaven Water is responsible for water and sewerage facilities across 50,000 properties in our region and won the award as a result of their excellent traineeship program, which is designed to meet the challenges of changing technologies and an ageing workforce.

In partnership with TAFE NSW Illawarra, trainees undertake certificate qualifications through a combination of workplace training and formal on-site study. Trainees are also placed on a rotation schedule to gain all-round operations exposure.

With 70 per cent of graduates gaining full-time employment at Shoalhaven Water, vacant positions are seamlessly filled and young talent stays in the region. A number of graduates have already progressed to senior operator roles.

Shoalhaven Water director Carmel Krogh also deserves special mention for her vision and leadership that has created local jobs and equipped our local talent with the skills to fill them.

I congratulate Carmel and the Shoalhaven Water team on their outstanding achievement and commend them for the service they provide to our region.

S. Hancock,  Member for South Coast

Sell-off stings consumers

The NSW government is 100 per cent to blame for the unprecedented rise in the price of electricity.

To our detriment, the government between June 2015 and May 2017 sold three poles and wires businesses on 99-year leasing arrangements. The majority of the owners are overseas investment companies, the others, local and overseas superannuation funds.

The first, Transgrid, sold for $10.273 billion to a mixed consortium, comprising: a Canadian pension fund, Australian fund Management Company, Abu Dhabi investment company, Kuwaiti Investment Company and a Hong Kong Investment company.

The next, Ausgrid, 50.4 per cent sold for $16.2 billion; for the sole purpose of financing Australian superannuation funds.          

And finally, Endeavour Energy, 50.4 per cent sold for $7.6 billion; to a consortium consisting of a Canadian investment corporation, a Qatar investment authority and an Australian infrastructure fund.

The whole episode has been a total disaster with power bills not only for householders but also businesses skyrocketing. The price we pay for electricity is now in the hands of investors and superannuation funds, where “profits” and “dividends” are vital for survival. The reality is: high power prices are here to stay.         

J. Macleod, Berry

Prices hold back growth

With the high level of youth and overall unemployment in our electorate, what are the strategies of Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis and Labor candidate Fiona Phillips to entice yes entice manufacturing to return to the region thus creating much needed employment?

The elephant in the room is the cost of energy and its impact on operational viability.

If coal fired power stations are not on your agendas, what are their strategies or policies to address this anomaly?

The next election is shaping up to be fought on who is best placed to deliver policies that will ensure the cost of energy is fair and affordable.

Nothing else will matter if we are overtaken by the cost of electricity and its effect on everyone’s budgets.

B. Cumberland, North Nowra