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Media release: Lawrence Springborg out of step with the public on privatisation

During an interview on Brisbane ABC local radio's Madonna King show, today, Lawrence Springborg told listeners that he has 'no objection' to the further sell-off of publicly-owned assets.

However, independent candidate for Mount Coot-tha James Sinnamon, pointed out that only the day before, Mr Springborg's Liberal National Party had rightly taken Premier Anna Bligh to task for misleading electricity consumers by promising that no electricity consumer would be worse off as a consequence of the privatisation of Energex.

Instead, as one ABC listener had complained yesterday, he had suffered an annual hike of $450 since privatisation.

"In fact, by having, himself, voted to support the Labor's privatisation of Energex and Ergon, Mr Springborg helped make the skyrocketing of electricity and gas charges inevitable," said Mr Sinnamon.

"The sell-off of Energex, and virtually all other privatisations in recent years, have been disasters for the public interest, and there is no reason to expect that any future privatisations under a Springborg LNP government will be any better," the candidate continued.

"Mr Springborg's views on privatisation are clearly out of step with the public. As examples, in 2005, 70% of the public opposed the Howard Government's Telstra full privatisation legislation and in 2008 opposition to the NSW government's plans to privatise electricity was as high as 85%.

"If Mr Springborg wishes to persist with privatisation, then he should be prepared to defend those views before Queensland voters."

Accordingly Mr Sinnamon, in an e-mail sent to Lawrence Springborg on 19 March, reaffirmed his challenge of 11 March to publicly debate privatisation either with himself or with another candidate opposed to privatisation, before the elections are held.

James Sinnamon's similar challenge to Premier Anna Bligh and Treasurer Andrew Fraser made on 12 March still stands.

Contact:
James Sinnamon
Independent candidate for Mount Coot-tha,
0412 319669
PO Box 86, Red Hill QLD 4059
candobetter.org/QldElections/MountCoot-tha

Appendix: Letter to Laurence Springborg

19 March 09

Dear Lawrence Springborg,

If you intend to privatise any more of public assets I believe you have an obligation to satisfy Queensland voters that this is justified.

To date this has never happened and all privatisations have been overwhlemingly opposed by public opinion.

All privatisations, without exception, have been public policy disasters and any further privaisations undertaken by a futher LNP Government or a future Labor Government are almost certain to be no different.

I therefore challenge you or any other LNP candidate to justify in a public debate before the election your refusal to rule out any more privatisations, or, else commit yourself to not doing so until you have obtained the specific consent of the Queensland public.

My past challenge to Anna Bligh and Andrew Fraser (or any other Labor candidate) to publicly debate their pro-privatisation stances also still stands.

yours sincerely

James Sinnamon
Pro-democracy independent
candidate for Mount Coot-tha