Thursday January 20, 2011 - Paola Harvey, Socialist Alliance candidate for Keira, has promised to never support privatisation of the electricity industry. Today she challenged all candidates to declare the same.
'Electricity must be kept in public hands, not sold off to private interests' , said Harvey. 'Every day brings new revelations about how the government has repeatedly lied to us about the terms of and the so called “benefits” of privatisation. The figures - showing that the sell-off will only net a profit of $400 million - are pitiful compared to the benefits of keeping electricity in public hands.
'$400 million will go no where near covering the costs of increasing electricity prices, unreliability of service, job losses and the damaging environmental impacts that are almost certain to follow from placing electricity in private hands.
'The foolishness of the deal can be seen in the fact that the public will have to pay for development of a highly contentious coal-mine, where the profits will flow to private business. In every single way this deal is a dud for the people of New South Wales.
'We are being ill-served by the Liberal opposition and the mass media who spoke out only against the terms of the sell-off but not against privatisation of public assets on principle. A privately owned power industry, like in Victoria, will push up prices, cut jobs, neglect maintenance and will make it harder to make the transition to clean energy sources.
'A publicly owned electricity industry can and should be run for the public good, whilst a privately owned industry will put profits above and beyond everything else. Privatisation should be rejected full stop and this is what I pledge to argue for in the elections', concluded Harvey.