CANBERRA -- Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison has cited national security interests in his preliminary decision to block the sale of the $10 billion New South Wales electricity distribution network, Ausgrid, to Chinese and Hong Kong consortiums.
Morrison has Thursday informed the bidders for the lease of 50.4 per cent of Ausgrid that the current bids are contrary to the national interest.
"We have worked very hard and collaboratively to identify possible mitigations," Morrison told reporters in Brisbane.
"And we have been unable to identify mitigations which we would believe would be suitable."
This is a preliminary decision. Morrison has now invited the bidders to make submissions by August 18 in order to make a final decision.