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Privatisation and electricity

General Transport Discussion not specific to one state

Privatisation and electricity

Postby Roderick Smith » Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:26 pm

I haven't been quoting the raging energy debate, but rising electricity and energy prices hit urban transport. Victoria in particular has forgotten the crises from before the premier's birth which triggered the large-scale development of brown-coal resources. My mother has never forgiven the NSW miners, and VR took 30 years to recover from a culture of 'go slow and use inferior stock'. That may all return.


June 21 2017 Privatisation: has it really been that brilliant? Just look at electricity .
Privatisation. Back in the day, opposing it was the province of self-interested public sector unions and sentimentalists.
Crucially, Labor governments licensed the process, with the 1980s and 90s still regarded as the golden era of economic reform under Hawke and Keating and state governments of both colours.
If voters knew then what they know now about the price and reliability of gas and electricity in particular, would they agree to their sale? Photo: Daniel Kalisz .
An emergent neo-liberal consensus ensured plenty was up for grabs: airlines, telecommunications, banks, public transport, prisons, and energy.
It was, voters were assured, a new post-ideology rationality unlocking capital and using competition to deliver service improvement, product innovation, customer sensitivity, and lower prices.
Fears that public accountability would be lost were scoffed at. But it turns out, not all government functions were equally suited to marketisation.
If politicians had outlined (or even known) the downside risks of a privatised electricity system for example, would they have won the argument?
Energy prices are the issue du jour. Tony Abbott derailed the carbon price in their name, and now even Malcolm Turnbull believes that arresting power prices is essential to his political rescue.
That's because prices have more than doubled in recent years despite junking a carbon "tax" that was a "python squeeze" on the economy.
Residential and business customers in most "markets" have been told over recent days that their crippling household or commercial electricity bills will rise again by about 20 per cent from July 1.
Average annual bills will be $300 to $350 higher and the picture will be far worse for businesses using both gas and electricity.
Malcolm Turnbull announced a series of interventions this week designed to put "downward pressure" on prices. These include restricting the appeal rights of power utilities to ring in such huge price leaps, and reserving enough gas for domestic demand before overseas buyers - even if that involves breaking export contracts. Cue lawyers.
There is even the prospect of direct federal government financing of new-technology coal-fired generators. That's quite a turnaround.
Australian gas, the soaring cost of which makes up the biggest single component of rising electricity bills, is cheaper in Japan than here.
Between the $60 billion in capital sunk into three enormous plants in Queensland to liquefy natural gas for export, an investment strike in electricity generation hardware caused by the climate wars, and the insensitivity of energy producers to Australian consumers, Australia's electricity sector has failed its primary tasks of affordability and reliability.
Turnbull's measures are a tacit acknowledgement that markets and electorates are not the same thing, and that the interests of the former can be blithely indifferent to the latter.
If voters knew what they know now about the price and reliability of gas and electricity in particular, would they agree to their sale?
Related Content
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, flanked by Minister for Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg and Resources Minister ...
Turnbull moves to force down power prices .
"Our view is that you can't just sit back, cross your fingers and hope that everything will turn out OK," Mr Turnbull saidl.
Voters switched off a desperate Coalition .
www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/poli ... wvcyp.html
Roderick Smith
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Re: Privatisation and electricity

Postby CCCC » Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:07 pm

electricity prices are stuffing this country , local fish and chip just closed , couldn't absorb the electricity prices any longer .
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