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Private brown coal, public liability? Doesn't sound right.

On the ABC News radio this morning (9 Sept 2012) we heard that private coal companies are demanding compensation for carbon trading costs from the Victorian Government and apparently this is being taken seriously!

All the brown coal stations in Victoria belonged to the State electricity Commission of Victoria until 1994 when they were privatised by Jeff Kennett.
Now the current government is saying that it may have to compensate brown coal producers for their not being able to use it because it is too polluting and will be too costly under the carbon trading system.

Do we require further proof of how corrupt and unproductive privatisation is?
What gives when a government not only sells off our assets but then somehow agrees to retain liability for business risks?

You would have thought that the private corporations would have assumed responsibility for the debt.
They have profited from the privatisation over the years and are now crying poor and demanding compensation!
How about making the parliamentarians who agreed to selling off these assets personally financially responsible for any such compensation?

We've known of the dangers of coal since the 18th century. Our leaders should be held responsible for getting us into this mess.

Comments

A lot of politicians are suffering from short-term-ism, or myopia, and megalomania. It's in epidemic proportions. They are all good at promoting big sell-offs, grand infrastructure building innovations, globalizing our natural and man-made assents, and making short-term windfalls at the expense of taxpayers and the future.

Once their party loses government, their responsibility ends. The desalination plant is an example. The public of Victoria will be forced to pay for the desal plant, whether we need it or not. Due to massive population growth during a time of drought, the Labor party under Bracks and Brumby made the knew-jerk decision to develop water from the sea, at Wonthaggi. With our dams nearly full, we don't need it.

There needs to be a delinking of population growth from economic growth. It's the no-brainer was to increase the size of our economy, but ignoring the implications and flow-on effects and costs in the future. It's a symptom of myopia, and one-dimensional thinking.

Private companies exist for profits, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions is beyond their responsibilities. The sell off of our public transport, gas and fuel, electricity generators and distributors, communications and water infrastructure places them in private hands, doomed to used for profits, not for the benefit of the wider community.

The short-term thinking of Jeff Kennett, John Brumby, and the Baillieu government will haunt us in the future.

There should be treatment/retirement/therapy for our politicians, and psychological assessment before potential politicians are allowed to be elected into government. Symptoms of myopia, tunnel-vision thinking, megalomania and those with a penchant for "growth" and "big" should be filtered out before they inflict their grandiose ideas onto the public - who end up bearing the enormous costs of privatisation, growth-addition and all the "shortages" that follow.

See also: Beyond Blue and Mr Kennett of 16 August, also posted onto johnquiggin.com about how this destroyer of livelihoods and instigator of mass poverty professes to care about those who suffer from depression. - Ed