What's On In The South Burnett Today?

Union Fears Asset Sales
‘Back On LNP Agenda’

Filed under Breaking News, Business, Latest News

ETU State Secretary Peter Simpson ... ready to re-start the fight to stop the sale of assets (Photo: ETU)

February 2, 2016

The Electrical Trades Union believes the LNP Opposition has revived plans to privatise Queensland assets, including power stations such as Tarong and Tarong North.

ETU State Secretary Peter Simpson said the LNP had failed to learn the lesson of their election loss by again raising the issue of privatisation.

He said Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg had “revealed the LNP’s true plans for Queensland’s assets by saying he is willing to revisit the privatisation debate”.

“The Queensland electorate couldn’t have given a more definitive answer to the question of whether state assets should be sold with the ousting of both the Bligh and Newman governments,” Mr Simpson said.

“Yet the LNP are following the orders of their masters in the Chamber of Commerce to continue pursuing a policy which is toxic to Queensland voters.

 “We’re calling on the LNP to again state their case for asset sales to the people of Queensland. We welcome the opportunity to take up the fight again to keep our assets in Queensland hands.”

The ETU said Mr Springborg’s comments followed a push by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland for electricity asset privatisation in their submission to the Productivity Commission’s report on electricity pricing.

Mr Simpson said the comments showed the Opposition Leader was “beholden only to the will of the big end of the town and not the voters of Queensland”.

“One year ago, in the wake of an election drubbing, we were told by (the Opposition Leader Jeff) Seeney that asset sales were ‘dead and buried’ as a policy for the LNP,” he said.

“Well, it seems Mr Springborg has gone grave-robbing.”

Anderssons Fruit Market for quality fruits and vegetables

4 Responses to Union Fears Asset Sales
‘Back On LNP Agenda’

  1. Voter

    Peter… Could you explain to this voter if the ETU supports the current Qld Government’s plan to render some government owned assets, such as Tarong, becoming valueless to the people of Qld by 2030, due to your preferred government, the QLD ALP’s drive to introduce 50% renewable energy by 2030?

    Was this part of your “not for sale campaign” that you didn’t tell us about, or do you just have a blind spot and you didn’t see it coming?

    Has the ALP checked with you if they can do this?

    I’m urging you to pay close attention to the fine print, but you might find you have supported a government that is keen to ensure the South Burnett is without a major employer earlier than anticipated, or in your language, leave the ETU and other unions without a well paid member base?

    Just curious if you are happy to let this happen as promoted in the media by Mark Bailey vs the alternative you are so keen to oppose?

    This voter is keen to see those assets deliver value to all Qlders as long as they practically and economically can!

  2. Disgruntled.

    Gee Peter, I concur with Voter, really what’s up with you guys. Seems you hate the LNP just for the sake of it.

  3. Casual Observer

    The first unit at Tarong Power Station was commissioned in May of 1984 with a publicized life expectancy of 30 to 40 years (as is the norm for a coal-fired power station). This would indicate that it would be at the end of its life somewhere between 2014 and 2024.

    So I would think that Voter’s comment that it will be valueless by 2030 is off the mark. It will in actual fact well before that date have become a liability to the QLD taxpayer not an asset as we will bear the site rehabilitation cost.

    Some assets do depreciate with age and usage and there is always an optimal time for disposal (otherwise we would all have a yard full of old cars).

    There should be no problem with the sale of end-of-life public assets provided that the proceeds of such sales go towards replacement assets (maybe a new hospital) and are not wasted on whimsical expenditure.

    That being said, I feel that wholesale sale of public assets would be a ridiculous folly by any government.

  4. Jack Black

    The closure of Tarong Power Station and associated mining operations would be a blow to business and employment in this region. A privatized power industry would most likely close older less efficient coal fired generation units much earlier concentrating private investment dollars on new technology and more efficient generating plants. Solar, wind and power storage devices [battery technology] are continuing to improve, and stand-alone power supplies are becoming commonplace, replacing grid-tied systems in coming decades. For Tarong and the South Burnett, the problem is not privatisation verses public ownership but new technology replacing old technology and infrastructure.The LNP’s plans for privatisation may well see Tarong Power Station closing much earlier then anticipated.