Power privatisation? Let the people decide

Socialist Alliance candidates in the upcoming local government elections are calling for a state-wide referendum on power privatisation to be conducted alongside council elections.

"The latest polls indicate that around 80% of people in NSW oppose privatisation of power and the ALP state conference voted against the idea by a margin of seven to one, yet [Premier Morris] Iemma is threatening to press ahead with the sell-off anyway", Marrickville Council candidate Pip Hinman told Green Left Weekly.

"We say that he should listen to the public: put the sell-off to the public and let democracy prevail", she continued.

"The Socialist Alliance supports the power industry workers who know that some of their work mates will be out of a job if this sale goes ahead. We also support their calls for action if anyone is sacked, or if the energy bills go through with the support of the Liberal, National and Shooters parties", said Hinman.

"We don't think that a sale will help shift energy production away from its main power base — polluting coal — towards the sustainable energy sector. To do this requires a political commitment to finding real and lasting solutions to the climate crisis — something that this government doesn't have."

The Socialist Alliance has been given advice by the State Electoral Commission that such a plebiscite would be possible. The state government only has to ask the governor to issue a writ, and a plebiscite could be carried out at the same time as the council elections on September 13.

If you want to help the Socialist Alliance campaign for a referendum, phone Alex on 0413 976 638 or Pip on 0412 139 968.

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