NSW electricity privatisation

NSW state Opposition announces intention to block electricty privatisation

Media release from Barry O'Farrell NSW State Leader of the Opposition

Thursday 28 August 2008

The NSW Liberal/Nationals will vote against the Iemma Labor Government’s proposed sale of the State electricity assets.

Morris Iemma’s proposed sell-off fails the public interest test.

Governments only get one opportunity to sell a public asset and, if they decide to sell, it’s essential that taxpayers get the best possible price. That’s not possible given the current uncertainty in the energy sector.

There is currently a lack of clarity and details about the Federal Government’s emissions trading scheme and the prevailing market conditions are not favourable.

Furthermore, the Iemma Labor Government has an appalling record of dealing with the private sector – it has failed the public in deals ranging from the Cross City Tunnel to the building of the new Bathurst Hospital.

Given their record of incompetence, Morris Iemma and Labor can’t be trusted to deliver a good result for taxpayers and consumers.

Mr Iemma’s campaign to sell-off power assets, despite promising in last year’s election not to do so, confirms the public can’t trust anything he says on power issues.

Until the Federal emissions trading scheme is operational, and specific compensation for carbon liabilities is in place, the value of State-owned electricity assets will be discounted and taxpayers will not get an adequate return from any sale.

Morris Iemma and Michael Costa have failed to get any legislative guarantees from the Rudd Government about emission trading and compensation issues.

Capital market uncertainty is further contributing to the Iemma Government’s lowering of expectations on sale price.

A decision to sell in the face of this uncertainty would be economically irresponsible.

The NSW Liberal/Nationals are determined to do what’s right for the people of NSW. We are determined to act in the community interest.

We reaffirm our support for continued private sector involvement in the energy sector when it is in the best interests of the community.

Unlike Labor at the last election, the NSW Liberal/Nationals will put our energy policy to the people before the next election.

The policy will take into account the economic conditions and the changing nature of the energy industry


Barry O'Farrell MP
NSW Liberal Leader
Shadow Minister for Western Sydney
Member for Ku-ring-gai
T: 02 9230 2270
F: 02 9221 8208

Comment: This media release doesn't unequivocally oppose privatisation, which is unfortunate, but, as it points out by announcing their intention to vote against privatisation in the NSW Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly, Barry O'Farrell and the Liberal and National Party Opposition upheld the fundamental principles of democracy and accountability that most members of the NSW Labor Government were not prepared to. For having done so, BArry O'Farrell and the Opposition incurred the of many in the NSW business community of a privatisation newsmedia in the ensuing weeks. These hysterical and unconscionable attacks paid almost no regard to the case put by O'Farrell in this media release, nor to case against Costa's privatisation legislation in the Legislative Council put by Greens and Opposition members. - JS, 12 Sep 08

Open letter to NSW state Opposition members urging a vote against electricity privatisation

Dear member

Firstly, this is to congratulate you for having held the line on behalf of the NSW public against the demands of NSW Treasurer Michael Costa and Premier Morris Iemma and voted against their privatisation legislation. As you well know privatisation was rejected by the NSW public in the 1999 elections and the Liberal and National Party Opposition to their credit undertook to respect that verdict.

Since then nothing has changed. Opinion poll after opinion poll has shown nothing but overwhelming rejection of privatisation by the NSW electors. If, after all this time, and after all the taxpayer-funded propaganda thrust down their throats, 86% the NSW public remain, according to one opinion poll, opposed to privatisation and 79% remain opposed according to another opinion, when is it ever likely that privatisation will win the support of the NSW public?

Clearly it will not, because the case for privatisation simply does not exist.

Privatisation leads to ownership and control of a basic service, necessary for every member of a modern society to enjoy a dignified life, out of the hands of the people into the hands of, at best, a small minority of those people. Even worse, control can, and often does, end up in the hands of foreign companies. Should Chinese investors ever achieve a controlling stake, control could even end up in the hands of a foreign and potentially hostile government.

Privatisation doesn't work simply because the interests of the broader public and the interests of private owners are not one and the same, contrary to what is often implied by privatisation proponents. This has been demonstrated again and again by other privatisations including bank privatisations and the privatisation of Telstra. The claimed efficiencies of privatisation are, in reality, nothing more than the shifting of costs previously borne by the utilities, when they were government owned, onto the broader public and onto the environment. These include the provision of training and employment opportunities and the subsidy of necessary services, often to poorer members of the community, where the free market business model will prevent the delivery of these services.

Measures to make utilities more 'efficient' are just as much available to publicly owned utilities as they are to privately owned utilities. However, publicly owned utilities which are, through our democratic institutions, subject to the control of their owners, who, with their taxes and the payment of bills, paid for these utilities in the first place, rightly don't normally adopt these measures. As the experience of Telstra, which is shedding and off-shoring jobs, and eliminating on-the-job training as fast as it is able, private corporations are under no such constraints.

In fact, privatisation introduces massive inefficiencies that do not exist for publicly owned utilities. One clear example, as Telstra has shown, is the extraordinary amount of time and effort it takes on the part of our legislators to force the privately owned corporations to serve the public interest. If Telstra had not been corporatised and then privatised, it would have long ago provided every Australian with access to fibre-optic broadband access. This is what it had planned to do before the turn of the century in the 1970's when it was a world leader in telecommunications and not constrained to justify measures, which were so obviously in the public interest, in terms of a free-market business model.

As a consequence, a large proportion of the Australian public do not have access to fibre-optic broadband, and the cost of providing broadband to our schools that satisfy the privatised Telstra's bottom line now stands in the way of NSW schools being able to take advantage of the Federal Government's program to give every school student a laptop computer. One need not think hard to imagine how having NSW's electricity assets in private hands would add a further hurdle to this program by increasing to costs to schools of provision of the necessary electricity.

Once electricity is in private hands, future NSW governments will inevitably face additional hurdles to the provision of electricity services that would not exist if current arrangements were to be preserved. Inevitably, the privatised corporations will withhold the building of substations or the provision or repair of connections in areas deemed to be less profitable. Governments will be faced with the choice of subsidising the private owners, providing the service itself, or allowing the customers to do without.

Please don't allow this to happen. Please use your vote in Parliament today as the NSW public are earnestly asking you to do and vote against the privatisation bill.

Yours sincerely,

James Sinnamon
on behalf of


Open letter to NSW Labor parliamentary caucus members to urging a vote against electricity privatisation

Originally published on citizensagainstsellingtelstra.com. Now on . - 22 Jul 2012

The following letter was e-emailed to all members of the State Parliamentary Labor Caucus with e-mail addresses listed . Any responses, together with how they voted on the privatisation legislation, will be include on this page.

This week Premier Morris Iemma and Treasurer Michael Costa will ask you to vote for a bill for the sale of NSW's publicly owned electricity generating and retail assets.

These assets represent 21% of NSW's infrastructure assets, earn $692.3 million annually and variously contribute $1.3 billion to NSW's state budget. Their sale would cause a significant reduction in NSW's overall worth, its financial security and, notwithstanding claims to the contrary, its energy security as control of NSW's power generation is transferred from the people of NSW to to the boardrooms of foreign multinational corporations, or even to the governments of foreign superpowers such as China.

These assets rightly belong, not to Morris Iemma or Michael Costa, not to the NSW Parliamentary Labor Caucus, but to the people of NSW who have paid for these valuable assets through their taxes and electricity bill over many past decades. You are being asked by Premier Iemma and Treasurer Costa and to use the vote that the NSW public has entrusted you with to allow this sale to proceed even though that same NSW public has repeatedly and emphatically made it known to you that it opposes this sale.

As you cannot be unaware, a recent opinion poll puts opposition to the sale at 86%, whilst another puts opposition at 79%. On the last occasion privatisation was put to the public, at the 1999 state elections, it was repudiated overwhelmingly.

Morris Iemma and Michael Costa would have us believe that, by defying the popular will, they are demonstrating true strength of character, in order to enact policies that they know to be in the best interests of the NSW public. This theme has been parroted repeatedly by their cheer squad amongst corporate newsmedia.

Perhaps others would argue that strength of character would be better demonstrated if, instead, they were prepared stand up, on behalf of the NSW people to the powerful vested interests who are demanding the sell-off to suit their own selfish short-term interests.

So, where is the evidence that privatisation is in the best interests of the NSW public? Contrary to Morris Iemma's claim of the Auditor-General's (PDF 354K) was a 'ringing endorsement' of his position, no actual finding either for or against privatisation was presented.

In a letter to the Australian Financial Review of 27 August, Morris Iemma claimed that "the proposals have been exhaustively scrutinised" by the Unsworth committee. If this is so, I think many NSW citizens would be most interested to know where.

Barrie Unsworth's (PDF 58K) made a sweeping claim that all the 12 criteria for the sale had been satisfied, or, at least will be satisfied if recommendations appended to the report were to be agreed to. However it failed to substantiate this in regard to any one of those criteria.

In contrast, the dissenting minority (PDF 649K) showed with detailed evidence that the criteria had not been met. Here are some of the grave concerns raised in that report:

  • That Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that the amount spent on electricity in Victoria and South Australia where electricity assets have been privatised is greater than that spent in NSW.(page 4)
  • That the accountability through the ballot box, parliamentary processes and enforceable public sector behaviour codes, by which the public can currently hold electricity suppliers to due account for their actions, will be lost. (page 15)
  • That as a result of privatisation in other states, training opportunities, including apprenticeship training, have been lost (pages 11-12)
  • The shedding of jobs that inevitably follows privatisation. Many employees, particularly retail employees, have not been given employment guarantees, Others have been given guarantees but only for up to 5 years. Almost certainly many of these jobs will contracted out or off-shored. After privatisation in Victoria, "jobs were lost and house prices dropped dramatically (in the Latrobe Valley). The impact of this was that families who needed to leave the region to look for new employment simply couldn’t afford to." (page 10)
  • That those on lower incomes will be disproportionately affected by privatisation. (page 10)
  • The likelihood, as the experience of previous privatisations has shown, that private investors will not invest in base-load electricity generation and that it will be necessary for the Government to do so in order to prevent blackouts. (page 7)

Morris Iemma asks in he letter to the Australian Financial Review that you "objectively consider the hard evidence" for privatisation. So where is the "hard evidence"?

As has been shown in the minority report and in many other documents, the "case" for privatisation is illogical and self-contradictory.

Morris Iemma that the sale "will save the Government $15 billion in the cost of a new generator needed by 2014."

On the one hand the NSW Treasury is to obtain a windfall to spend on other government services and to reduce debt and on the other hand, money that the Government cannot now find to provide for the necessary upgrade of NSW's electricity infrastructure will somehow materialise out of thin air. Evidently, Iemma and Costa would have us believe that, on top of providing the funds necessary to purchase the assets, investors will, out of the goodness of their hearts provide additional billions for the upgrade.

And I thought it was opponents of privatisation who are supposed to be the ones who believe that there is such a thing as a free lunch!

However, the public are clearly not that stupid. They understand perfectly well, even if Morris Iemma and Michael Costa appear incapable of understanding, that they will pay, and pay very dearly for any short term financial gain obtained by the NSW Treasury for the sale of those assets, and they will pay more should the new private owners choose to invest additional money.

That is why the NSW public remain so resolutely opposed to the sale.

There is absolutely no need for the sale. All the money to upgrade NSW's electricity infrastructure could be obtained far more easily by simply borrowing the funds outright. As former Auditor-General Tony Harris pointed out:

A large additional investment in NSW’s generation and distribution sectors is pressing. But even with recent interest rate increases, needed investments can earn sufficient gross profit to service borrowings. And such borrowings, made outside of the general government sector, would not affect the government’s budget. Still less would they imperil the state’s AAA status.

Please ask yourself: If Treasurer Costa and Premier Iemma are sincere in their stated intention to secure NSW's electricity supply, then why have they any "Plan B" should their legislation be rejected by the NSW Parliament? Why have they apparently allowed an irrational ideological prejudice prevent them from borrowing the necessary funds?

Please ask yourself: What is the point of parliamentary democracy if policies repeatedly rejected by the electorate during the course of elections, and in repeated opinion polls, are nevertheless passed by the Parliament?

Please ask yourself: Why should any self-respecting member of the Labor Party continue to make the effort with their donations, and with their time, to get elected to office representatives who then turn around and ignore their earnest wishes against privatisation as was emphatically stated by the 702 to 107 vote at the state Labor conference? Why should any such parliamentary representative presume the right to continue to hold office in defiance of the wishes of both ordinary rank-and-file party members and of the broader community?

I ask you not to turn your back on the rank-and-file of your party, on the trade union movement and on the broader community. I ask you to, instead stand with the NSW community and to stand up against the bullying of Michael
Costa and, behind him, the corporate newsmedia and the wealthy financiers, and vote to keep New South Wales' publicly owned electricity assets in public hands.

Yours sincerely,

James Sinnamon
on behalf of

See also: , , , , .

Electricity Privatisation bill a test of whether the people or carpet-baggers rule NSW

Politicians under scrutiny on power sell-off vote

NSW Greens Media release: 27 August 2008

After twelve months of debate, tomorrow's decision on Treasurer Michael Costa's electricity privation legislation will be the ultimate test of who really runs NSW, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye.

Dr Kaye said: "Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell has been wedged between the business lobby and the National Party.

"Labor MPs have been subjected to by Treasurer Costa, while their party members and organisation remain resolutely opposed to the sell-off.

"The Greens urge all MPs to vote for the people and the environment of NSW.

"The intense propaganda efforts by both the Iemma government and the corporate world's front organisation, the Alliance for NSW Future, have failed to sway public opinion.

"If the legislation is defeated, the parliament will have demonstrated that it represents the people of NSW and it acted in their long term interests.

"If Michael Costa gets his way, then it will be a victory for the carpet baggers.

"The voters will be watching closely.

"The absence of a mandate and the transparent weaknesses in the government's arguments for an urgent sale should convince Mr O'Farrell and the Opposition parties to join with the Greens and Labor MPs to block the sell-off.

"Michael Costa has not only placed the economy at risk and pushed his party to the brink of a damaging division.

"He has compromised democracy by pushing ahead without the support of the people of this state.

"Tomorrow's vote will be a test of who calls the shots in NSW," Dr Kaye said.

For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455

NSW Electricity Privatisation Links

" id="WebDiary">From

by Ian MacDougall, 10 May 08

The ostensible argument for power privatisation is that NSW needs the money for schools, hospitals and other expenditure. The reality is that sale of capital is touted as the way to finance ongoing expenditure, analogous to the classic case of the farmer who sells off a bit of the farm each year to keep the family clothed and food on the table.


" id="OzLeft">From

The Labor Party ranks according to Michael Egan

by Ed Lewis, 9 May 08

The public discussion over electricity privatisation in NSW is increasingly becoming a traditional union bash in the media. Today, Michael Egan, another former Labor Party official and politician, steps forward to read about a properly respectful attitude towards politicians.

-512">Read the rest of this entry on Ozleft »

by Ed Lewis, 8 May 08

Another banker weighs in on the Iemma-Costa side of the NSW electricity privatisation battle today, although it’s obvious Babcock and Brown’s Stephen Loosley is a bit better informed about the present state of the Labor Party than either Paul Keating or Bob Carr.

-511" class="more-link">Read the rest of this entry on Ozleft »

by Graham Matthews, Green Left Weekly, 10 May 08

The plan for the privatisation of electricity in NSW is like the mythical creature the hydra, which had multiple heads. It had to be “killed” many times before it would actually die — and every time it was “killed” it could bite back apparently unharmed

by Tim Dunlop, 5 May 08

Isn’t it the case that the people of NSW are against privatisation; the Labor Party’s platform is against privatisation; and the Premier went to the last election promising not to privatise the state’s electricity? So that by now saying he will privatise electricity, isn’t the Premier defying the will of the people, ignoring his own party’s platform (and conference), and breaking an election commitment?

It’s all very well to get a in a tizz about “unions running the state” and other clichés from the conservative playbook, but in this case, by what right can Mr Iemma justify his disregard of public opinion, his party platform, and his own election commitments?

by Tim Dunlop, 30 Apr 08

by Tim Dunlop, 11 Dec 07

Brian Robins and Alexandra Smith, SMH 11 Dec 07
As Tim Dunlop "an uncritical article which (happily) buys into the line."

by John Quiggin, 19 Jun 08

by John Quiggin, 21 Dec 07

, John Quiggin 12 Dec 07

, John Quiggin 11 Dec 07

by John Garnaut, The Age, 12 May 08

SOONER or later, some anti-privatisation activist will start doing background checks on China Huaneng Group, which is at the front of the queue to bid for $15 billion in NSW power assets. They'll see that Sydney might soon be powered by the world's biggest corporate contributor to global warming.

, SMH, 11 May 08

Michael Costa's bully-boy tactics may have hurt Labor but not the Premier or his privatisation plans, reports Andrew Clennell.

, SMH, 10 May 08

Michael Costa's bully-boy tactics may have hurt Labor but not the Premier or his privatisation plans, reports Andrew Clennell.

, SMH, 19 Apr 08

by Paul Keating in SMH 30 Apr 08
Paul Keating, who counducted his own fire sale of Commonwealth Government assets, and broke his 1993 election pledge not to fully privatise the half-privatised Commonwealth bank lends his moral support to Iemma, and Michael Costa, whom he describes as "as honest a pair of souls as NSW politics has had".

, SMH, 6 May 08

, ABC News, 7 May 08

, AAP in SMH of 4 May 08

Includes utterances by Wayne Swan and Malcolm Turnbull. Turnbull's take, before Iemma was lionised by the media for subsequently defying the decision of the Labor Party, not to mention the NSW public:

"Morris Iemma seems to have lost the confidence of much of his party room and the vast majority of the Labor Party, he is a broken premier, and the tragedy for NSW is he is in power until 2011, well at least the government is."

, The Australian editorial of 5 May 08
This contains such gems as:

“If electricity privatisation can be defeated because unions representing a few thousand electricity workers don't like it, how difficult would it be to stare down union interests to overhaul health and education?” Thus the editorial ignores the wishes of two thirds of the NSW public opinion who now oppose privatisation and who in 1999 emphatically repudiated the Liberal Party when it stood for elctions on a platform of electricity privatisation.

“NSW is still paying a heavy financial price for Mr Carr's submission to trade union power.” (In fact, as Professor John Quiggin has on 27 Dec 07, the defeat of Carr’s privatisation bid “ in 1997 saved the NSW public between $5 and $10 billion.”)

“Mr Iemma must demonstrate that he is prepared to govern for all people and ignore the demands of state conference. ”

in the Melbourne Age of 5 May 08

in Newcastle Herald of 5 May 08

in the Australian of 5 May 08

SMH, 30 Apr 08

, ABC Online News, 5 May 08

, SMH 5 May 08

, Bloombergs, 5 May 085 May 08
Australian corporate energy users urge Iemma to defy NSW public and Labor Party conference decision.

, SMH, 4 Apr 08

, The Australian, 12 May 08

Imre Salusinszky, who had triumphally gloated how the fight over privatisation was all over on the day of the capitulation of ‘opponents’ of privatisation at the NSW parliamentary Labor caucus meeting of 6 May, now writes, “Unions and the NSW Labor Government are no closer to a deal on electricity privatisation, more than a week after Premier Morris Iemma announced he was pressing ahead with the power sale despite a massive rebuff from the party's state conference.“

, Matthew Warren, The Australian, 9 May 08

Lots of straw men set up and demolished, for example:

“Given such a display of finger-pointing, yelling and fist shaking, you'd think privatising the electricity market was a giant leap of faith in government policy; a bold step into the unknown.

“It is neither. One-third of the 45,000MW of Australia's electricity generation capacity comes from privately owned power suppliers. Victorian and South Australian generators and retailers were privatised a decade ago. ...”

In fact the consequnces of privatisation are all too well known, with the sorry outcomes of the privatisations of the Commonwealth Bank, , State Banks and Insurance companies. Only recently the New Zealand government , because it had found that these services had been run down by their private opoerators, which is precisely the opposite of the claims being made of what privatisationof electricity will achieve.

“Typically, former prime minister Paul Keating didn't hold back earlier this week, publishing a demolition of Unions NSW's anti-privatisation position that was aired so robustly last weekend.” ( - see above)

Of Course, there is no mention of NSW Green MLA John Kaye's media release in response of 6 May 08 which exposes a number of factual errors in Keating's supposed 'robust' 'demolition'.

, John Garnaut, SMH, 9 May 08

CHINA'S largest power company has its eyes on Morris Iemma's $15 billion sell-off, as part of an ambitious strategy to buy Australian power, coal and even uranium assets.

(pdf) by D. Cahill and S Beder.

Abstract: This article examines the process of electricity privatisation in Australia in order to identify the dynamics of neo-liberalism in practice. It is argued that neo-liberalism is best understood as a particular mode of regulation in which the state legislates to secure freedoms for capital. In the case of electricity privatisation the main beneficiaries have been corporations rather than consumers and this has been facilitated by a whole host of new state regulations.

, April 2008 (pdf, 29K) by Professor Frank Stilwell.

, NSW business Chamber, 10 Dec 07

, 24 Apr 08

Document by Freehills

Shows how privatisation of NSW and indeed all publicly owned utilities was promoted by the Council of Australian Governments (i.e. the Howard Government and eight state ’Labor’ governments) meeting of April 2007

ERIG found that government ownership (especially in electricity) acted as a barrier to entry and an impediment to competition. To improve contestability and efficiency in Australian energy markets, ERIG recommended disaggregation and full privatisation of government-owned energy assets throughout Australia. This should take place as soon as feasible, given the practicalities of the privatisation process. The recent sale of the Queensland Government’s retail energy assets was seen as a good example for other states.

ERIG (the Energy Reform Implementation Group, established by COAG in 2006) acknowledged that privatisation may be politically sensitive(our emphasis) but emphasised that privatisation of even one element of the contestable energy chain would help to increase efficiency. ERIG proposed a number of lesser options, including the disaggregation of government-owned electricity assets and providing ‘clear signals’ to private investors (the approach adopted by the Western Australian Government was commended).

Rally tells Iemma to dump electricity sell-off

Originally on NSW Green MLA John Kaye's web site Saturday 26 April 2008

Community members held a no sell-off protest meeting outside key NSW Labor power broker and MP for Maroubra Michael Daley's office this morning. Speakers at the rally included Greens NSW MP and Luke Whittington, union organiser and convenor of Eastern Sydney Your Rights At Work.

Dr Kaye said: "Premier Morris Iemma and his Treasurer Michael Costa have led their government to the brink if disaster.

"They have broken faith with the union movement, the membership of their own party and the community.

"They have no mandate to sell off the industry.

"They are facing massive defeat at the ALP state conference next weekend.

"If the Premier does push ahead in defiance of his own party's governing body, it is unlikely he will be able to get privatisation legislation through the NSW Upper House.

"It is time for the Iemma government to abandon their sell off scheme and stop the massive waste on money on consultants and bankers.

"Michael Daley is a keen supporter of Premier Iemma's privatisation proposal. He was one of the three government representatives on the Unsworth Committee that gave the go ahead.

"Mr Daley needs to know that his constituents are firmly opposed to the sell-off. If the Premier gets his way, household electricity bills will skyrocket, jobs will be lost and it will be much more difficult to control the state's greenhouse gas emissions," Dr Kaye said.

For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455

See also in SMH of 3 May.

The Australian newspaper peddles NSW electricity privatisation

This was posted to a discussion -207324">Time to give the b-team a turn, concerning the NSW Labor Government's bid to sell the publicly-owned electricity generators against the opposition of the union movement, the Labor Party and the NSW public. As further information comes to hand about the claims by The Australian Newspaper, they will be posted to this page.

Can anyone comment on claims made the story in the Australian of Friday 29 February:

JUDGING by the Victorian experience, households and businesses in NSW can expect lower prices following electricity privatisation, together with more choice for consumers and fewer supply interruptions.

Greg Wilson, chairman of Victoria's Essential Services Commission, said similar fears expressed by opponents of the Kennett government's state power sell-off in the 1990s had proved baseless.

"When you look back to the debate, and the view that this would lead to increases in profits and prices and under-investment, the facts themselves in our performance reporting show the opposite," Mr Wilson said.

Based on a standard annual electricity consumption of 4000 kilowatt hours peak and 2500kWh off-peak, the commission found customers could save $79-$150 through market offers, depending on the standing tariff, which ranged from $926 to $956 across the five retail areas.


"Those detractors of the process in NSW who try to claim that the performances deteriorated in Victoria are actually completely wrong," (said Brad Page, chief executive officer of the peak industry body, the Energy Supply Association).


They do admit the record of privatisation in SA was "less clear-cut". (I thought it was a total fiasco), but manage to conjure up a favourable spin to put on the whole experience:

In South Australia, power interruptions have been stable, with the exception of the heatwave summer in 2005-06. South Australia received a net total of $4.9 billion for the breakup and sale of power, coal and gas assets between 1999 and 2001, compared with the $22.5 billion reaped by Victoria.

All these these claims appear to superficially lend plausibility to the case for privatisation in a very narrrow limited sense, but one can be practically certain that we are being given far less than the complete picture.

What we are certainly not being told of will be the loss of employment and training opportunities (i.e. ''feather bedding") as has occurred with the .

Tha Australian's Editorial of the same day, perversely named seized upon this study to push it's usual pro-privatisation message. Naturally to the Murdoch editorial writers, the wishes of two- thirds of the NSW public whom it claims to have been duped by "a union-funded scare campaign" counts for nothing.