The suspension of the national electricity market points to the need to learn from the past. The whole idea of having an energy market for a commodity that everyone needs is a scam, argues Pip Hinman.
As if to dispel any doubts that her privatisation spree was ending, Jim McIlroy writes that the NSW Premier has moved to reassure private corporations that it is not.
In Australia, the National Electricity Market is rapidly becoming dysfunctional, with power shortages, blackouts and soaring prices making headlines.
Private companies are refusing to invest in new fossil fuel generators to replace those that have closed. This “investment strike” is due partly to uncertainty about carbon pricing and partly to increasingly volatile spot prices received by generators.
Up to 1000 people gathered outside state Parliament on November 15 to protest against plans by the Western Australian Coalition government to sell the state’s main electricity provider, Western Power.
The protest was organised by the Use your Power Group, headed by the Australian Services Union (ASU) and Electrical Trades Union. There was also strong support from the Maritime Union of Australia, Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, United Voice, Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and State School Teachers Union.