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Australia: Electricity unions launch campaign to keep NSW electricity network in public hands

09 April 2013
PSI Australian affiliates - ASU - USU Branch and ETU launched a multi-million dollar community campaign against a proposal by the O'Farrell Government to sell the state's electricity poles and wires monopoly to pay for unfunded election commitments.

A state-wide poll of 1801 people — commissioned by the campaign partners — has revealed the community is overwhelmingly opposed to the plan, with 80 per cent of people saying the electricity network should be owned by the public and operated to benefit the community, while 86 per cent said they believed power prices would rise if the poles and wires were privatised.

The campaign — spearheaded by the Electrical Trades Union, United Services Union, Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers Australia and Public Service Association — includes an initial commitment of $1.5 million to fund advertising, community events and campaigning in key electorates.

United Services Union general secretary Graeme Kelly said the campaign would seek to debunk the myth that privatisation would be good for consumers. "This campaign is about bringing together working people and the broader community to demand the O'Farrell Government move away from this proposal to ensure essential services like electricity are kept in public hands."

For more information read the full article on the USU website: www.usu.org.au

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