|Issue No. 124
|15 February 2002
Chickens Come Home
Unions: Winning the Heartland
Interview: Swan's Song
Corporate: Lessons from Enron
Politics: What We Did Last Summer
History: Solidarity in Song
International: A Tale of Two Cities
Poetry: Nobody Told Me
Review: Labor and the Rings
Satire: Rafter Named Bermudan Of The Year For Tax Purposes
The Locker Room
Week in Review
'International Labour's Year in Review' - A Re-View
Collins Gets Cryptic
Letters to the Editor
In Whose Interests?
I must have an awfully bad memory of NSW politics 'cause I thought the last time the NSW branch of the ALP had a proper debate on the floor of its conference it voted overwhelmingly not to deregulate the electricity industry in NSW.
Well I must be mistaken as I just got a letter in the mail telling me that the NSW Electricity Industry is now deregulated. So much for the Trade Union movement having too much influence within the ALP.
Having read this letter I thought I would have a look at what rationale the ALP has for deregulation, and I found that the rhetoric of cheaper prices for consumers has now disappeared.
All of a sudden we are being told that we will have "choice" and haven't the screams for choice just been deafening. We don't even hear the 'New Labour' line that private capital will build us new power stations. Thousands of workers in the electricity industry will now loose their jobs when they are told that they must become more competitive.
Thousands of families will have their incomes slashed just like the La Trobe Valley in Victoria, an area that saw the demand for food parcels increase twenty fold after Kennet deregulated the Victorian electricity industry. Victoria is now facing a winter of electricity restrictions and blackouts thanks to the free market in electricity.
So in whose interests has the electricity industry been deregulated?
Electricity deregulation has led to a 300-400% increase in electricity prices for consumers in California. Hundreds of Californian families have been bounced by power companies for failing to pay their bills and are now on black lists that deny them connection to the power grid.
I cast my vote at the last state election against Kerry Chikarovski and her hair brained scheme to give everyone a thousand bucks so she could sell off the power industry.
This was the primary issue that Bob Carr ran on in the last state election.
Where is the democracy in the NSW Parliament, and when are our political and trade union leaders going to grow some back bone and say enough is enough. At least 51% of the voters in NSW dont want deregulation.
United Firefighters Union
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