Morrison’s “Big Stick” energy privatisation will devastate regional Qld: ETU says

Morrison’s “Big Stick” energy privatisation will devastate regional Qld ETU says

No mandate for sell off of public electricity assets to foreign multi-nationals

The Queensland NT Branch of the Electrical Trades Union warned regional Queensland communities they face dire consequences if the LNP’s “Big Stick” Energy Bill becomes law in its current form.

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.

“It says a lot about the priorities of the new government, their first order of business is to pursue an ideologically driven failed privatisation agenda rather than properly funding health and education or reinvigorate the TAFE sector to provide job opportunities for our young people,” Ong said.

 “The government is out there in the Australian this morning saying they have a mandate to push this failed legislation, I don’t know which election campaign they were watching but it was never canvassed at any length during the campaign,” he said.

Ong said the divesture legislation in its current form does not protect Queensland’s public assets from being sold off to foreign multi-nationals.

“The Bill is so poorly written and vague it opens the way for privatisation by stealth against the will of Queenslanders and furthermore it fails to provide any protections for workers who face displacement,”

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 LNP MP’s and 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,” Ong 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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