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James Sinnamon on privatisation

Privatisation of Queensland Electricity Assets: A Preliminary Evaluation

The report by past Federal Treasurer Peter Costello of his supposedly independent investigation into Queensland State finances on behalf of the Queensland Government Commission of Audit recommended the full privatisation of Queensland Government's electricity generators. Only last year, the Queensland public, outraged at the asset fire sale embarked upon by former Premier Anna Bligh without any electoral mandate whatsoever from the 2009 state elections, savagely punished Labor at the ballot box leaving only 7 sitting Labor members in a house of 89.

That, less than a year after, the new Government of Campbell Newman has contrived an excuse to continue with policies, that have been so resoundingly repudiated by Queenslanders, provoked outrage. An example of the outrage felt is a new opinion poll taken by news.com, which shows that Qld privatisation [is] opposed by 85%: poll.

Professor John Quiggin of the University of Queensland responded on 6 March with a post on his web site. That post included a link to a pdf report which, by examining the disastrous history of privatisation across Australia in recent decades, comprehensively demolishes the case for any privatisation.

Privatisation backlash: Government fire sales have slowed following Qld Elections

It was maddening to hear a number of mainstream and lesser media organs come out observing that the Labor Party lost the recent Queensland election because of ex-Premier Anna Bligh's and ex-Treasurer, Andrew Fraser's counterintuitive and unpopular insistence on going ahead with privatisation and population growth policies, when you spent time recording the efforts of a man who continually tried to raise these issues and was preparing to run for election as an independent on these very matters in a major Brisbane seat. James Sinnamon was engaged in a long running campaign to raise the media profile of the Queensland public's right to choose on population and privatisation, when a terrible road accident removed him from active political life. Reviewing Laura Tingle's "Great Expectations in Quarterly Essay, June 2012, brings home the awful consequences of not having Australian political alternatives to canvass the selling off of institutions. See also ABC markets new privatisation grab of public assets

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