Sell the smokestacks but open the grid

State electricity assets need to be sold and quickly.

When Telstra started to be flogged off in 1997, most Australians hadn't seen the internet. Most didn't realise how the ageing copper telephone network was not going to serve the digital needs of the 21st century.

Ten years later, politicians are still arguing about private investment and control over a new digital network. Web 2.0 is one technology that Australians haven't been able to adopt at a rate like they've taken to DVDs or mobile telephones - a shame because the richest markets in the world have and the internet basically provides free entry.

NSW electricity is the same. Coal power is another antique technology that can not continue as the world shifts to carbon neutrality through alternative fuel sources.

Previous privatisation experience shows consumers should be concerned about the conditions attached to such a sale. Will households be locked onto the grid? Will people be able to trade surplus power if they generate their own? Perhaps the profits should be invested in subsidising solar power or building upon NSW's geothermal resources?

These last questions show how much further the debate needs to go I think. I mean, can you imagine a situation such as the narrowing of roads that's supposed to 'encourage' drivers to use private roads like has been seen in Sydney?