Dick Nichols

The fight to keep New South Wales electricity in public hands can and must be won. If NSW Premier Morris Iemma and treasurer Michael Costa get away with their plan to sell off the state’s electricity generation capacity and its retail arms, working people and the community will get a dearer, less reliable service and the chances of the state moving to a sustainable energy policy will be reduced to zero.
The basic argument in favour of the privatisation of electricity generation and distribution is simple — public ownership allows too much bargaining power to electricity workers and their unions (which they will always use to defend “inefficient practices” and “overstaffing”); it also fosters over-investment in generation capacity by engineers concerned to guarantee service reliability (“gold-plating”).
On May 9, 2007 NSW Premier Morris Iemma announced that he had appointed Anthony Owen, Australia’s first professor of energy economics, to report on NSW’s future needs in electricity generation capacity.
The following letter of solidarity with the crew of the customs ship, Triton, taken over in Darwin by its sacked crew, was sent on January 29.
NSW Treasurer Michael Costa passionately claims privatisation of NSW’s electricity generation and distribution is “good economics”. However, there is popular opposition to the proposal — up to 86% in opinion polls.
Kevin Rudd is a prime minister in a big hurry. Only a fortnight has passed since the Howard government was thrown into the dustbin, and the new Labor cabinet is already scurrying about its work.
“Now what?” must be the most commonly asked question among the left these days. Now what for the struggle for Indigenous rights? For the struggle against global warming? For the anti-war movement? For the fight against the Tamar Valley pulp mill? For the Your Rights at Work committees? Local Socialist Alliance branches have already begun a series of forums on this theme.
Thank you very much for your support for the Socialist Alliance’s 2007 federal election campaign.
Fighting social exclusion? (1) On November 22 Labor deputy leader and industrial relations shadow minister Julia Gillard announced that a Rudd Labor government would set up an "office of social inclusion" within the Department of the Prime
Building support in Aboriginal Australia (1) One Indigenous community to organise a meet-the-candidates forum during the election campaign was the Illawarra Aboriginal Community (NSW south coast). It drew more than 60 people, including prominent

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