||Issue No. 258||08 April 2005|
Be My Guest
Interview: [email protected]
Unions: State of the Union
Industrial: Fashion Accessories
Legal: Leg Before Picket
Politics: Business Welfare Brats
Health: Cannabis Controversy
Economics: Debt, Deficit, Downturn
History: Politics In The Pubs
Review: Three Bob's Worth
Poetry: Do The Slowly Chokie
The Locker Room
Stink Over Water
Thatís the vision of privatised water that Sydney Water staff will take to the public this week.
They will rally, outside the utility on Tuesday, in an effort to head off the massive price increases, system breakdowns and job cuts privatisation has ushered in elsewhere.
ASU co-ordinator, Col Lynch, invited Sydneysiders to join in.
"We're all in this together," he warned. "The track record of water privatisation should concern everybody.
"The federal government has opened up the prospect of a sell-off by supporting the definition of water services as traded goods, covered by GATS.
"Water should be a national treasure, held in trust for all Australians."
The rally, to be addressed by ACTU president Sharan Burrow, and AFTINET representative, Pat Reynalds, is part of an international mobilisation for Trade Justice.
Both organisations contend that the inclusion of water in GATS (the General Agreement on Trade in Services), and free trade, open up the possibility of privatisation.
A quick sniff around the world of water privatisation, unearths ...
- Adelaide's notorious Big Pong, so-called because of the stench that descended on the city's northern suburbs following the knocking off of Adelaide's water and sewage
- Suez, the world's largest water multinational being driven out of Bolivia after mass public demonstrations against a cost structure that denied at least 200,000 El Alto residents access to supplies
- American giant, Bechtel, being paid millions a year to do nothing after it was driven out of Cochabamba, another Bolivian city, following massive price hikes
Britain's Thames Water regularly appearing in lists of the country's worst polluters. Since privatisation, complaints about service and quality have increased, while magistrates and tribunals have found Thames Water was aware of failures that led to raw sewage discharges and could have prevented them.
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