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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Rudd Supports Power Privatisation by John Tognolini

I'm not surprised by prime minister Kevin Rudd's support for the NSW government's plan to lease out power stations and sell all but the poles and wires assets of the state's power utilities worth $15 billion. "Premier Iemma has my complete support," he told journalists in Canberra.

Kevin Rudd did not say one word about privatisation of public assets in last November's federal election, nor did Morris Iemma in last March's state election.

Starting with Margaret Thatcher in the UK, we've seen over two decades of privatisation of basic services like energy, water and transport: the jury is now in. For the user, it means higher prices and less reliability, for the worker, less job security, for the environment, greater danger of pollution, but for the corporations, very, very fat and publicly guaranteed profits.

For us in the Blue Mountains how long would it take to get the power back on after storms with fewer workers and how much money would we pay?

Also as the Total Environment Centre and Nature Conservation Council have pointed out, public ownership of power is essential for developing renewable energy to challenge Climate Change. And Rudd was elected largely on workers' rights and Climate Change.

I've challenged state member Phil Koperberg and local ALP councilors to stand-by-side with the local community and publicly oppose their party leaders' sell off plans. After Rudd's support for privatisation I challenge federal member Bob Debus to do the same.

John Tognolini
Socialist Alliance candidate for Ward One Blue Mountains City Council

published in Blue Mountains Gazette 27-2-08

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