Australia’s energy crisis shows the stupidity of privatisation

16 September 2017 1:17 pm

This week saw the Turnbull government monstering AGL to keep its loss-making power plant open.

That’s right, a Liberal government, supposedly the champion of private enterprise, telling a business to keep its unprofitable operations open.

That of course followed the warning from the Australian Energy Market Operator that the closure of Liddell would lead to blackouts. And that could cost the government votes. The Turnbull government is trying to assert control over AGL to keep a lid on power prices.

But the Liberals had actually sold Liddell to AGL. What this shows is the political stupidity of privatising key assets like key assets like electricity. It will affect everyone who votes.

Back in 2014, the New South Wales government sold the 2000MW power station for zero dollars

NSW was just keen to get the plant off its books to avoid the liability associated with the cost of remediation when they close it. Coal fired power stations are part of a dying industry.

The government had failed to impose new and modernised conditions when it sold Liddell and Bayswater power stations.

The result: AGL can close it when it sees fit, regardless of what the government says.

The bottom line is that Liddell is the oldest coal-fired power station still running in Australia and AGL notes that it is likely to be more unreliable as it nears the end of its life.

The stupidity of the politicians is compounded by reports that NSW might now buy the power station back from AGL.

It’s all reminiscent of the comment from the late businessman Kerry Packer who said “You only get one Alan Bond in your lifetime, and I’ve had mine”.

It was a reference to the three year period in which Packer first sold the Nine Network to Alan Bond, reportedly for over $1 billion, in 1987 only to buy it back for a quarter of that price.

AGL might be saying that about the Liberal Party.

Leon Gettler

2017

October

07 Oct 2017 - What’s ahead for the Minerals Council of Australia?

September

16 Sep 2017 - Australia’s energy crisis shows the stupidity of privatisation

09 Sep 2017 - Why climate change will devastate Florida

July

16 Jul 2017 - Laws of mathematics don’t apply to Australia: Malcolm Turnbull

June

17 Jun 2017 - Political backlash over the Grenfell fire

11 Jun 2017 - A win for Macron is a lesson for Theresa May

04 Jun 2017 - Attacks in London could change the election

May

28 May 2017 - Why Donald Trump will survive and be re-elected in 2020

20 May 2017 - Will the Mueller probe examine Trump’s Russian business ties?

13 May 2017 - Hypocrisy over Chloe Shorten’s necklace

06 May 2017 - Macron vs Le Pen: France is no longer one country

April

29 Apr 2017 - Turnbull government attacks banks over Adani

23 Apr 2017 - Why the French election is important

08 Apr 2017 - Russian navy moves in

01 Apr 2017 - Australia is one of the world’s worst money laundering property markets

March

19 Mar 2017 - Peter Dutton goes poofter bashing

04 Mar 2017 - Trump will take the market to a fiscal bloodbath

February

26 Feb 2017 - Trump’s mental condition

18 Feb 2017 - Adani’s results tell us the company will not develop in Australia

11 Feb 2017 - Why the Coalition’s “clean coal” plan is crap

04 Feb 2017 - It’s Trump versus the courts

January

27 Jan 2017 - The cost of Trump's wall on consumers

21 Jan 2017 - A look at Europe's future

20 Jan 2017 - Can Trump make America great again?

16 Jan 2017 - Trump parallels with Iraq


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