Queensland to lease electricity grid

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Queensland to lease electricity grid

The Queensland Government (Australia) has announced plans to lease instead of selling, as it had originally been planned, electricity transmission and distribution networks.

According to Treasurer Tim Nicholls, 50-year leases and 50-year leases with 49-year options would be considered, in addition to 99-year leases.

The state aims to follow Victoria and South Australia, where the grid is privately operated. Queensland’s grid companies such as Stanwell Corporation and CS Energy are worth circa AU$43 billion, money that could be used to fix Queensland’s struggling infrastructure and to engineer the state for growth.

The state has an extreme debt problem and has been unable to fund the roads, railways, schools and hospitals it needs. Queensland’s electricity grid is the least efficient in the country, with network costs increasing 140% in the past 17 years. Over the same period, network costs in the privately operated Victorian market have fallen by 18%.

Queensland is the second-largest and third-most populous state in Australia. Situated in the north-east of the country, it is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales. The state´s economy has enjoyed a boom in the tourism and mining industries over the past 20 years.

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