An Australian union campaign against Chinese investment in local electricity assets is racist and puts trade relationship at risk, New South Wales Treasurer Andrew Constance said Tuesday.
The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) is running an advertising campaign, attacking China's State Grid Corporation which is the potential buyer of leases over the state' s power network.
With the state election approaching on Saturday, the sitting state government is seeking a mandate to privatize state-owned electricity assets.
Constance met with State Grid Corporation representatives late last year, and said the sale would significantly fund new infrastructure. He told reporters on Tuesday the union campaign was a "racist rant" and the ads were "despicable".
"The bottom line is the Treasurer of the state - surprise, surprise - meets with investors from around the globe and also national investors as well," Constance said.
"We've made absolutely no secret of the fact that when we undertook the market soundings late last year. There was enormous interest from around the globe (and) here domestically in Australia in relation to Australian pension and superannuation funds."
"We should be excited about the interest in our state."
Labor's election campaign has been heavily focused on an anti- privatization message, with the opposition suggesting it could lead to higher power bills, job cuts and the loss of ongoing revenue.