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NSW Government's disregard of public opinion on electricity privatisation

The NSW rural newpsaper the Northern Daily Leader of 9 May 08 reported in its article NSW Government appears impervious to public opinion local state Independent member for seat of Tamworth Peter Draper's observation that the NSW Government appeared totally impervious to public opinion on the privatisation of electricity assets.

Peter Draper told The Leader that even if everyone in the State took to the streets in a peaceful protest against the plan it appeared as if it would still go ahead.

Mr Draper hoped people would write to NSW Premier Morris Iemma to let him know how they feel.

"It appears the Liberal Party are going to back the sale and even if Labor backbenchers cross the floor there is nowhere to cross the floor to," he said.

"The Labor Party is pushing it through as quickly as they possibly can."

Mr Draper said it appeared neither party believed the public needed to own any community utilities or assets and just wanted to sell them off.

"They forget they don't own them, the public does," he said.

The story also quoted two apologists for privatisation within the Labor camp, Tamworth-based Member of the Legislative Council Christine Robertson and former ALP state candidate Denise McHugh:

…Christine Robertson said "… so long as country
NSW is a consideration for equity in pricing and
distribution now and in the future, I don't think there
will be a problem." …

Perhaps, rural mobile phone users unable to have their landline telephone connections maintained or who have recently been forced to ditch their CDMA mobile handsets and fork out hundreds more for their Next-G mobile handsets, that is if they even have coverage, as a result of the privatisation of Telstra, may not feel quite so reassured.

Denise McHugh said she had not been present at discussions but that everybody wanted a good result for country NSW and the people of NSW.

"It's difficult because there are valid arguments on both sides," she said.

We would be most curious to learn from Denise McHugh what the 'valid' arguments in favour of privatisation are.

See also: Why Privatisation is wrong


As far as I can see, the privateers in the State Government are using ideology as a con-man's trick to rationalise their panicky transfer of our assets to the pockets of private individuals who have somehow got control of the parliament and of the philosophy of government.

We do know that Keating and Carr are net financial beneficiaries of electricity privatisation deals, so no confidence can be placed in their opinion. One cannot point out too frequently that the Murdoch Press has consistently failed to make vested interest and other points of view clear to the public.

Surely these people will go on trial if the people ever regain control over government in NSW or in Australia.

Sheila Newman, population sociologist
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