The Queensland NT Branch of the Electrical Trades Union urged Queensland MP’s to put their state first and reject the LNP’s “Big Stick” Energy Privatisation Bill due to be tabled today.
State Secretary Peter Ong said the poorly written Bill – which was shelved after failing to garner enough support in the lower house earlier this year – would leave Queensland’s electricity assets open to privatisation and the devastation that would bring to jobs, workers and regional communities.
Ong said the divestiture legislation in its current form does nothing to protect Queensland’s public electricity assets from being sold off to foreign multi-nationals.
“We know what happens when essential services like electricity are privatised, it costs more for an inferior service, providing fewer jobs with profits going to predominantly overseas companies. While in Queensland because we own the vast majority of our energy assets, we have seen downward pressure on costs and prices, a reliable and safe network maintained by the provision of decent regional jobs and apprenticeships.”
“The Queensland public have spoken in three state elections and the message is clear, our electricity assets are Not4Sale, and what our members and their communities are asking, is for Queensland’s federal MP’s to respect that position and reject the Federal Government’s thinly veiled attempt to privatise Queensland’s electricity assets against their will.” Ong said.
Ong also pointed to the position of State Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington as a sign her advisors saw the legislation facilitating privatisation.
“Even Queensland Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington joined with her State Labor colleagues in condemning the Bill in March. Warning her federal LNP colleagues that Queenslanders would not stand for asset sales in any form before insisting it the Bill was not the answer to the state’s power bill woes” (Courier Mail March 2019) “That is pretty strong condemnation I would think and is in line with our reading of the Bill,” Ong said.
“We call on all Queensland MP’s and particularly One Nation Senators along with the Senate Crossbench to publicly condemn this blatant privatisation push. If the Federal Government supported by One Nation’s (Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts) and Centre Alliance’s (Rex Patrick and Stirling Griff) endorse this legislation in parliament it will be a massive betrayal of Queenslanders who have consistently voted against asset sales,” he said.
“From an ETU perspective, we will continue to campaign every day to protect regional jobs, public assets and regional communities against the ravages of privatisation, we will not take a backward step,” Ong said.
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