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Qld fire sale

If the unions get off their knees, privatisation can be stopped

In spite of the fact that 79% of the Queensland public oppose privatisation, 66% would support industrial action to stop the Bligh Government's $15 billion fire sale and many union members have expressed a willingness to strike, the Queensland unions have failed to take the only action that could possibly cause the Queensland Government to change its mind.

ETU raises white flag in fight against Queensland fire sale - Why?

On Saturday 10 April, at a Brisbane anti-privatisation forum held by Search Foundation, the Secretary of the Queensland branch of the Electrical Trades Union (ETU), an avowedly hard-line anti-privatisation union, revealed his view that the fight against the Bligh Government's fire sale was lost.

What you can do: If you are a member of a union affected by privatisation, particularly a member of the ETU, contact your union and demand that meetings be called so that this question be decided democratically by the membership. See also: "If the unions get off their knees, privatisation can be stopped!" of 4 May 10, Queensland Not For Sale - the Qld Council of Union's anti-privatisation web site, "Time for the B team" of 11 Apr 10 on and "Explaining Bligh’s privatisation push: Search Foundation forum" also of 11 Apr 10 on


Updates, 2 May 10: Branch secretary claims ETU misrepresented by article and my response and a further response by Tony Reeves; Motion carried unanimously by meeting of AMWU members in Redbank Railway workshops in June 2009 calling for industrial action to defeat privatisation.

Public rally against Queensland Fire Sale, Roma Street Forum, Tue 9 March

The Bligh Government has arrogantly proceeded with its privatisation plans despite over 80% of Queenslanders opposing the decision.

What you can do: Attend the protest at Brisbane's Roma Street Forum at 10:30AM on Tues 9 March.

See also: the Queensland Council of Union's "Queensland Not for Sale" campaign site,, "Labor wrecker of 2007 claims union anti-privatisation campaign a threat to re-election of federal Labor" of 28 Feb 10.

Labor wrecker of 2007 claims union anti-privatisation campaign a threat to re-election of federal Labor

In 2007, Andrew Fraser, as Local Govenment Minister, imposed council amalgamations against the overwhelming wishes of affected residents, even threatening to dismiss councillors who dared hold ballots on amalgamation. For many months, the angry backlash threatened Labor's federal election prospects. In 2010, the same Andrew Fraser, as Queensland Treasurer, claims that the unions' campaign against his unpopular $15 billion fire sale, opposed by 79% of the Queensland public, will threaten Labor's federal election prospects.

Why Queenslanders must demand new and fair state elections

In the March 2009 Queensland elections, called early and conveniently before the Auditor General's damning reports on Health and Transport, Labor clung to power by concealing the likely privatisation of publicly owned assets and promising to maintain the state fuel subsidy. Regaining office, the fuel subsidy went, charges for registration and public transport rocketed and a $15 billion public asset fire sale was announced - although opposed by 79% of the Queensland public


This is not democracy. This is not honest. It is not even polite. Help create a ground-swell by signing the e-petition calling for a new election. Not sure? Read why in this article.

Originally published: 8 Jan 10. Updated and revised: 12 Jan 10.
See also: "Anti-privatisation candidate confronts Queensland Treasurer" of 2 Jan 09, Open letter to Anna Bligh and Andrew Fraser asking that any planned privatisations be put to the public at forthcoming elections of 17 Feb 09.

Anti-privatisation candidate confronts Queensland Treasurer

James Sinnamon debates Andrew Fraser on Privatisation and government encouragement of overpopulation in Queensland, proposing alternatives - Film. Filmed on Sunday, 30 November. Lasts 21 minutes. In three films on You-tube - links inside this article. 2nd & 3rd film of most interest. Please pass round to your Queensland contacts, but, since privatisation is coming up in other States again - notably in Victoria - this should interest people outside Queensland. See film inside

Queenslanders to pay for privatisation, population growth with further electricity price increases

The Courier-Mail reports that the average annual houshold electricity bill will rise nearly 14% or $276 next year, on top of the huge increases Queenslanders have already copped since the privatisation and deregulation that former Premier Beattie assured them will result in reduced charges. In spite of acknowledging this and population growth to have been the cause, the Courier-Mail editorial failed to argue against the continuation of either.

See also: "Exposing Queensland Government population growth duplicity" of 1 Apr 09, "Courier Mail spins news of 79% opposition to fire sale to reveal its privatisation colours" of 11 Dec 09, "The Courier Mail beats the drum for more Queensland population growth" of  Jan 07.

What you can do: Queensland citizens can sign the e-petition calling for the resignation of the Queensland Government and new elections. See "Anti-privatisation e-petition calls on Queensland government to resign" for further information.

Courier-Mail spins news of 79% opposition to fire sale to reveal its privatisation colours

Many Queenslanders, appalled at their state Government's blatant disregard for their wishes not to sell AU$15billion of worth of publicly owned assets, actually look to Rupert Murdoch's Courier-Mail newspaper to stand up to what has to be amongst the most inept and despotic of state governments in Australia's history. However, the dishonest spin encompassed in the title of the story "Asset Sale Anger on the wane"1, together with the sub-heading "Christmas boost for Bligh", reveals that newspaper's true colours on that issue.

Update, 10 Dec 09: The Australian endorses Bligh Government's disregard of the will of 79% of Queenslanders
Further update, 11 Dec 09: The Courier-Mail changes tack from weasel pro-privatisation arguments to outright support for privatisation.

See also: "Queensland Rail workers strike against theft of public assets" of 9 Dec 09, "Media contempt for facts in NSW electricity privatisation debate" of 28 Sep 08.

Queensland Rail workers strike against theft of public assets

The Queensland Government's $15 billion asset fire sale is but the latest salvo in a long undeclared war that it has been waging on trade unionists together with the rest of the Queensland public for years. With the strike by 1,300 Queensland Rail workshop employees against the fire sale, it is finally getting a taste of its own medicine.

Update, 11 Dec 09: A Brisbane Times poll question "Do you support rail workers decision to strike against the Queensland Government asset sell-off?" had

68% of respondents voting 'yes'.

John-Paul Langbroek and why the Liberal National Party won't survive unless Labor Governments reform

The Queensland Liberal National Party leader, John-Paul Langbroek tried to restore some democracy in Queensland last week. Perhaps it is because his party can see that if democracy is not restored - by restraining the pursuit of the ALP's private financial power through government - no other political party may ever have a chance to govern again, simply because the ALP has become so rich and its power so far-reaching, and arguably it is less a government than a commercial corporation. Langbroek's reforming initiatives have taken two forms: 1. to call for a referendum into privatisation and 2. to submit a bill to make inquiries into corrupt systems and specific activities in Queensland. Predictably this bill was killed by the ALP on the 2nd reading.
See also"Anti-privatisation e-petition calls on Queensland government to resign"

Ipswich Rally outside Community Cabinet to Save our Public Assets

Date: Monday 30 November 2009, 9:00am - 10:00am.
Meet at park at RSL Hall, Nicholas St, Ipswich.

Community Cabinet meeting commences at 9:30am across the road at the Ipswich Civic Centre

The QCU Ipswich is hosting a rally to coincide with the Ipswich Community Cabinet. Come along and let the Premier and her cabinet know that Queenslanders don't support the government's sell-off of public assets.

See also:,

Picket State Parliament to stop the theft of Queensland's public assets

Tell Anna Bligh to get her hands off OUR public assets!

Time/Date: 4:30-6pm, Tues Nov 10
Meet Outside State Parliament, Cnr George & Alice Sts, City

See also and online discussion forums: "Out of the mainstream" of 7 Nov 09 and "Bligh’s bad arguments for privatisation" of 29 Oct 09 on, "Quiggin on Bligh’s arguments for privatisation" of   09 on Larvatus Prodeo.

Cut Wall Street out! How states can finance their own economic recovery

Ellen Brown shows how the examples of the publicly owned Bank of North Dakota and the past example of Australia's now privatised Commonwealth Bank demonstrate that President Obama can begin to turn the US economy around without pouring hundreds of billions more US taxpayer dollars down the black hole of the private banking system. The Queensland Government, now bent on selling $15 billion worth of publicly owned assets to 'solve' its own finacancial crisis, should take note.

Includes appendix: Steven Keen on why bankers deserve less respect than plumbers.

Originally published on truthout. See also:,, "How a state-owned bank could make Queensland asset fire sale unnecessary" (originally published as "But Governor, You CAN Create Money! Just Form Your Own Bank.") of 30 May 09.

French organise national resistance to Privatisation of Post Office

As the English-speaking countries watch their governments transfer public assets and power to the private sector, eroding democracy, the people of France, have, once again, stood up to their government and mounted a massive resistance to privatisation. The Left in France, unlike the Left in Australia has simply not caved in on this and the Unions have retained their integrity in this matter.

ETU: Bligh's secret hard-hat tour will not fool Queenslanders

On 24 August, Queensland Premier announced plans to conduct a 4 day tour to convince the Queensland public of the necessity of her AU$15 billion public asset fires sale. This, she insists, is necessary to pay for the building projects which she claims are necessary to keep Queensland's economy moving. However, as Peter Simpson, Queensland Electrical Trades Union branch secretary pointed out, thr Premier has kept the tour itinerary secret.

Also published on Save Our Public Assets. See also: Bligh defends asset sales, works program by David Barbeler in the Brisbane Times of 24 Aug 09, Anna Bligh to tour state projects in defence of asset sales by Steven Wardill in the Courier Mail of 25 Aug 09, Bligh begins whirlwind tour to justify asset sales by Chris O'Brien on the ABC on 25 Aug 09.

Queensland's pursuit of population growth is a Ponzi scheme

In an article in the Christian Science Monitor Joseph Chamie, former director of the population division of the United Nations labels the notion that population growth is a boon for prosperity as "Ponzi Demography". In Australia, confirmation of this has come from none other than the population-growth-pushing and public asset fire saleswoman, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh.

See also: "How the growth lobby threatens Australia's future" of 24 Jan 09 republished on Online Opinion, "Is population growth a Ponzi scheme?" in the Christian Science Monitor of 17 Aug 09 by David R. Franks.

"Billionaires for Privatisation" to star in tomorrow's West End rally and march

The newly formed "Billionaires for Privatisation", featuring luminaries from
recently bailed-out banks through to coal company fat cats will walk
arm-in-arm with "Anna Blight" tomorrow morning at an anti-privatisation
in West End.

Time/Date: 11am Sat Aug 15, Meet @ Lizard Statue, Boundary St, West End
March to Bligh's Office (90 Vulture St)
Original article by Paul Benedek published on
See also: Stop Thief! Rally on 15 August to stop theft of Queensland's public assets.

Stop Thief! Rally on 15 August to stop theft of Queensland's public assets

Tell Anna Bligh to get her hands off OUR public assets!

Time/Date: 11am Sat Aug 15
Meet @ Lizard Statue, Boundary St, West End
March to Bligh's Office (90 Vulture St)

See also

Ipswich Unionists protest Queensland fire sale

350 people rallied outside Queensland Transport Minister Rachel Nolan's office on July 31, in protest at the Bligh Government's moves to sell off public assets. No-one, besides Nolan herself spoke in support of priviatisation at a subsequent community forum.

Original article by Paul Benedek published on

See also: "Minister claims rail sale will create jobs" in the Queensland Times of 17 Jul 09, "Angry retort on rail sell-off" in the Ipswich News of 23 Jul 09, "Opposition fires up over QR sale" in the Brisbane Times of 22 Jul 09.

Queensland Unions to ramp up anti-privatisation campaign

Unions will stage a protest against privatisation outside the office of Rachel Nolan, the Queensland Minister for Transport.

Where: Booval Professional Centre, 125 Brisbane St Ipswich
When: From 2PM, Friday 31 July.

Also published on

Queensland Government to seek advice on privatisation from companies bailed out by US and UK taxpayers

In a media release on behalf of the Queensland branch of the Electrical Trades Union (ETU), branch secretary Peter Simpson questioned the Queensland's decision to pay as much as AU$200 million to two companies Merrill Lynch and the Royal Bank of Scotland, who recently went bankrupt, for advice on privatisation, for advice on its privatisation fire sale.

Also published on

ABC dismisses complaint claiming privatisation not 'newsworthy' in 2009 Queensland elections

Five weeks after I made my complaint, the ABC has responded. The reponse defends the ABC Brisbane local Radio journalists' failure to hold to account the Queensland Government over these issues: privatisation, encouragement of runaway population growth, housing unaffordabilty, plans to triple our coal exports as the polar ice caps melt, and the devastation of agricultural and wilderness areas by open cut coal mining, etc. The ABC deems these issues not to be newsworthy.

See also: "Brisbane ABC suppresses alternative candidates in state elections despite listener dismay with major parties" of 30 Apr 09, "Brisbane's local ABC radio fails to hold Anna Bligh to account over privatisation" of 28 May 09.

Dorothy Pratt slams Queensland Government privatisation deceit

Dorothy Pratt, Independent member for Nanango, exposes the deceit and shortsightedness of the Queensland Government's asset fire sale, announced not during the election campaign concluded on 21 March, but only only eight weeks afterwards.

See also: Dorothy Pratt's web-site at

Privatisation - let the owners decide : an open letter to Anna Bligh

James Sinnamon, who stood as an independent candidate in the 2009 Queensland state elections, put to Queensland Premier Anna Bligh that as she denied the Queensland public their democratic right to settle the issue of privatisation at the recent elections, in spite of his own hard efforts to draw her attention to the issue, that she either withdraw her privatisation plans, or put the issue to a referendum.

See also: Queensland Government has no mandate to privatise of 27 May 09,"Open letter to Anna Bligh and Andrew Fraser asking that any planned privatisations be put to the public at forthcoming elections" of 17 Feb 09, "Brisbane's local ABC radio fails to hold Anna Bligh to account over privatisation" of 28 May 09, "Brisbane ABC suppresses alternative candidates in state elections despite listener dismay with major parties" of 30 Apr 09. Courier Mail Readers comments about privatisation, 299 so far, nearly all opposed.

What you can do to prevent the theft of your property:
Sign the petition against privatisation;
Attend protests against privatisation outside the state Labor Party conference this Queen's Birthday weekend including a protest organised by the ETU for Sunday at 11am.

Postscript: 'Reply' of 16 Jun 09 from Premier Anna Bligh. Update (5 June 09): Anna Bligh's own Labor Party branch votes unanimously for her expulsion.. See story in the Courier Mail.

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