Sunday, April 27, 2008


Red News Readers,

Isn't it interesting! Costa and Iemma talk up what they see as the benefits of privatisation but if you go online and read the blogs, those who live in states where electricity has been privatised for some time can tell us of the disadvantages as they have already experienced them, higher prices, job losses, unreliable supply, poor service, particularly after storms. There is no doubt that Labor Party members and the people of NSW don't want their utilities privatised. Costa and Iemma - listen before it is too late!!

Jenny Haines

By Linda Silmalis and Andrew Chesterton, Sunday Telegraph

April 27, 2008 12:00am

PREMIER Morris Iemma and Treasurer Michael Costa have lost the support of the party membership, with just one ALP branch backing the proposed power sale.

In a further blow to the Government, industry experts have warned that it may receive far less than the $10 billion it anticipates from privatising electricity resources.

The National Generator Forum claims tough new environmental guidelines and ageing infrastructure have decreased the value of power generators by as much as $20 billion over the past 10 years.

The Sunday Telegraph can reveal Labor's rank and file is almost unanimous in its opposition to the privatisation plan.

And, in a move that reflects the deep political tensions facing the party, the resolutions to be put to the ALP State conference next Saturday carry strong anti-government sentiment targeting Mr Iemma and Mr Costa.

Labor members in the Marrickville, Merewether, Paddington, Vaucluse and Westmead branches have warned the plan could spell the end of the Iemma government.

In a combined statement, the branches say public ownership of the NSW electricity industry is the only way to ensure a reliable power supply and acceptable pricing.

"Any form of electricity privatisation is clearly opposed by the vast majority of NSW voters,'' they say.

"The proposal puts the re-election of the Iemma government in great jeopardy.''

In Newcastle, members of the ALP's Adamstown branch have warned of job losses, particularly in regional areas.

"Consultation on this proposal has been abysmal,'' they said.

"There was no inkling that such a proposal was on the table at the last election: it was not election olicy.''

Members in Balmain and Leichhardt - in the seat of Balmain, held by Labor's Verity Firth _ have attacked Mr Iemma and Mr Costa directly.

"It is unacceptable that Premier Iemma and Treasurer Costa appear intent on treating the party's membership withdisdain,'' they wrote.

"Accordingly, the conference calls on the Government to discontinue the pursuit of this inherently stupid program.''

The resolutions follow revelations last week that the Alexandria branch had lodged a formal misconduct complaint against Mr Iemma and Mr Costa for declaring they would defy the State ALP conference.

In a separate move, the NSW National Party has come out to oppose the plan.
National Party leader Andrew Stoner said that members would move to block the legislation whenit is introduced in Parliament.

"Members have serious concerns about jobs, services and prices and none of these concerns have been adequately addressed by the Government,'' he said.