Bendigo Advertiser letters to the editor

The privatisation deal has been a disaster

The outrageous price for electricity and gas in Victoria (and other states) now reveals that privatisation  is no longer the flavour of the day.

Former Premier Kennett convinced most  consumers that cheaper electricity would prevail if utilities were sold, arguing that private enterprise would more efficiently operate  utilities by having separate divisions to produce, transmit, market ,and retail electricity.

No real control of prices have existed, and some states still own some assets creating difficulties about where future generation will come from .

The grid is now inter-connected to eastern states with a marketing body controlling the price, charging excessively for peak demand with retailers blaming high prices and the necessity of passing on increases.

In the meantime far too many retailers fight for your account with discounts of 40 per cent, when there is only one total sale of electricity to share.

No need for an academic degree in financial matters to conclude retailers are goudging to the  extent that households are financially overstretched and business is leaving the country or closing operations and sacking staff. 

This privatisation deal has been a financial disaster for Australia and  governments don't seem to know how to lower prices, not even the wizard "No all" Prime Minister, who suggests coal can move to a technological age and lower emissions, meanwhile  exporting it to create pollution that will circulate the planet.

Ross Everitt, Eaglehawk

Where is the solution?

Ten coal fired power stations closed and counting, and what does Malcolm Turnbull do, blame Labor, after the LNP have been in power (excuse the pun) for four years and have done absolutely nothing about it.

Well, that's privatisation for you, sell off the assets, and into the hands of banks and hedge fund managers, the operator runs the plant to get maximum profit without ensuring its reliability, and then closes it, and its the Opposition’s fault, when the LNP sold them off. 

Now we have another power station about to close, because maintaining it would cost millions, with the operator  unwilling to extend its life, and our Prime Minister begging the company to keep it open, illustrating an appalling lack of leadership, to secure any long term supply and pricing, and just another example of companies exploiting an unsuspecting public, and any attempt to blame anyone else is not going to cut the mustard, with the results confirming the concerns when these privatisation decisions were made. So 11 power stations will have closed, these companies are endorsing the renewable energy policies, that is except the LNP who continue to prosecute the argument for coal, but nobody is going to build a coal fired power station, and if they were, it would have happened years ago, so what is the LNP solution to our energy crisis, absolutely nothing.

Looking at it from another angle, is it a cynical exercise to artificially push up energy prices, and the states and consumers having to capitulate to the demands of fracking. This mess was created by an artificial market, collapsing before our eyes, and any government allowing Australia to slide into supply insecurity, and exploitation of pricing is history, because when you are the Government, there is nobody to blame but yourselves. Well, except the LNP.

Ken Price, Eaglehawk

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