Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gellatly complicit in theft of public assets!

Wednesday January 19, 2011

MEDIA RELEASE - Socialist Alliance candidate for Keira, Paola Harvey, has condemned Wollongong Council administrator Col Gellatly for his role in the privatisation of NSW electricity assets. She has called for the sacking of the administrators and a return to democracy for Wollongong.

'The case for council elections in Wollongong was clear long before the latest revelations, but they have confirmed what has long been suspected. The administrators aren't serving the people of Wollongong but rather are doing the bidding of the state government', said Harvey.

'While Col Gellatly is an Administrator, at the same time he is chairman of the government's Electricity Reform Taskforce, a job he is being paid $540,000 for. This “reform taskforce” was basically assigned to find a way to privatise the electricity industry as quickly as possible. But when 8 directors of Delta Electricity and Eraring Energy resigned, NSW Treasurer Roozendahl appointed Gellatly to the board and directed him to push through the sale'.

'This is a conflict of interest, as many have have pointed out. More importantly, Gellatly is not only denying the democratic will of the people of Wollongong as an administrator, he is denying the democratic will of the people of NSW, who remain overwhelmingly opposed to privatisation of the electricity industry'.

Socialist Alliance will be using the state election to campaign for fresh elections for Wollongong Council and for reversing the privatisation of electricity.

'Gellatly and the administrators are responsible for many decisions that are already increasing the cost of living for Wollongong citizens; parking meters for example. But Gellatly's role in privatisation is much worse. It will lead to higher electricity prices for all households — something the people of Wollongong cannot afford. Maybe Gellatly himself, who in addition to his $540,000, earns $85,280 for being administrator, should be footing the bill for families that can't afford the extra expenses his actions will cause?

'But we must remember that responsibility for the privatisation remains primarliy with the NSW Labor Party. The people of Wollongong are being ill-served by local MP's who have supported privatisation every step of the way. The only way to ensure that public assets will no longer be sold is to reject the politics of both Labor and Liberal parties and vote for parties committed to keeping public assets in public hands', Harvey concluded.

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