Privatisation costs our future. We need a better way.
There has been too much privatisation under the Liberals.
Everyone knows that privatisation doesn’t work. Private companies have to make profit. This means fewer jobs, higher prices and cuts to services.
The Liberals want to privatise Western Power because they have mismanaged the economy and put us into debt.
In the long run, privatising Western Power will mean fewer jobs, bigger power bills, and cuts to maintenance budgets.
The Liberals are arrogant and out of touch.
They’ve spent too much money on the wrong priorities and wasted the opportunity the boom provided to diversify the economy and create new jobs.
Liberal mismanagement has put us into debt, weakened the economy and cost jobs.
Liberal cuts to important public services are short sighted, and end up costing more in the long term.
One academic expert on electricity, privatisation, Lynne Chester of the University of Sydney, has noted recently: "The evidence does not show job losses automatically follow a privatisation. Instead, significant labour shedding occurs prior to sale, while still in government ownership." Indeed many jobs have recently been lost at Western Power, as is pointed out in this ABC news report.
An The Australia Institute report has noted that since electricity privatisation over east there has been a rapid increase in the employment of salespeople while there has also been a fall in productivity and one explanation for this is, quote:
[a] dramatic fall in output per worker is the rapid increase in staff numbers in occupations that do not have a direct role in actually generating electricity. For example, the number of managers in the sector has grown from 6,000 to 19,000 from 1997 to 2012, a rise of 217 per cent [emphasis added, The Australia Institute, 2013].
In another study comparing the workforce of publicly and privately owned electricity corporations, Dr Phillip Toner found that on average publicly owned electricity corporations employed 65 new apprentices annually compared with only 22 in privately owned electricity companies.
Finally, if you are suspicious of these sources, then check this quote from Colin Barnett:
The reason that you would retain the energy utilities in government hands is the energy utilities are the major engines of economic growth in this State and only through ownership of utilities can you guarantee supply and reliability of supply.
On electricity prices the latest year for which data is available, 2012/13, shows that the typical cost of electricity in WA, where our network is publicly owned, was at 25 cents per kilowatt hour (only slightly above 23.7 c/kWh from Queensland’s publicly-owned electricity) and well below the cost of privatised electricity in Victoria (27.66 c/kWh) and South Australia (31.27 c/kWh).
Of course there are many other examples of how privatisation costs us all through higher prices.
The Liberals in WA have radically increased TAFE fees to make private training companies more profitable - this has led to dramatic falls in the number of apprentices and trainees.
Roe 8 will be the first privatised toll roadway in WA – with heavy truck users required to pay a toll.
The management by private companies of hospital car parking, such as by Serco at Fiona Stanley Hospital, has led to high parking fees.
Cuts to services and mismanagement
Western Power contributes around $200 million each year in dividend payments to the State Budget. If sold, that means less money for local services like hospitals, schools and police.
Privatisation in our hospitals has contributed to poorer services. For example:
- The debacle of the Perth Children's Hospital includes occupational health and safety concerns following the discovery of asbestos in the ceiling tiles as well as lead in the water pipes.
- Almost 20,000 patients waiting for elective and other surgeries with wait times far exceeding clinically recommended times.
- Ambulance ramping times at all all-time high. The stresses on workers and patients due to privatised mismanagement has doubled over the past year.
The election on March 11 will decide how much more privatisation the Liberals impose on West Australians. If you want to stop privatisation, please follow this link to volunteer or donate now.