It was with some empathy that I read Ian Bates’ letter in the Addy on December 12, noting how hard it was for him to obtain straightforward answers from Nationals MLC Damian Drum, to simple, straightforward questions.
From my experience, I can only wish Ian good luck, but don’t hold your breath.
For more than 18 months I have been corresponding – through letters and personal representations – with Mr Drum’s Barnard Street office, trying to get answers to questions regarding the brown coal deposits in the Latrobe Valley.
Questions such as: who owns the Latrobe Valley brown coal deposits? Or what contracts have been entered into for the sale of Victorian brown coal for export? These questions have been batted aside and they – the politicians and staffers – have all run for cover when coal is mentioned.
The truth about what is happening to the vast brown coal resource in Victoria is surely information that a local parliamentarian who was genuinely committed to putting locals first would be happy to provide.
One matter that seems to be overlooked regarding rising electricity prices is that Victorians owned the generators, the supply and maintenance system, and all the associated infrastructure including administration and billing through the state-owned state electricity commission (SEC).
The SEC was sold off – supposedly to reduce debt – by a previous state government to an Asian-controlled company called Powercor.
The reason the SEC was in existence was to generate and supply power to the people of Victoria. The reason Powercor is in existence is to make money.
The way this is done is by generating and organising the supply of electricity. There is a vast difference between these two mission statements. I think we were duped when the SEC was sold and am concerned that it is happening again.
It should be part of the core value of any politician to be upfront and honest with the folk of his or her electorate.