Conservatives win mandate for privatization in Australia’s NSW state poll

March 28, 2015 12:52 PM

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SYDNEY (Reuters) - The conservative government of Australia's New South Wales state won re-election on Saturday, clearing the way for the country's largest privatization, a stake in a state-owned electricity network for an expected A$17 billion ($13 billion). State Premier Mike Baird, who campaigned on a promise to lease 49 percent of New South Wales' energy network to fund new infrastructure, held a predicted 53 of the 93 state Legislative Council seats, with just over half of the votes counted.

He survived a considerable swing against his government amid widespread anti-privatization sentiment by promising to use the proceeds to fund road and rail projects to ease congestion in traffic-choked Sydney. The result allows Baird and his coalition government to push ahead with a sale that alread...

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