It’s clear the Morrison Government’s “big stick” Bill will be able to force the privatisation of state and Commonwealth owned energy assets, like Snowy Hydro.
This isn’t a “big stick” policy, it’s the latest version of the Liberals’ ‘big sell-off’ – going after the publicly owned electricity assets that Labor Governments have refused to privatise.
Privatisation means higher power prices for families. Privatising energy assets hasn’t led to lower prices or better outcomes for consumers; it has led to massive private profits and electricity prices that keep going up and up. Yet electricity privatisation remains in the Liberals’ DNA.
When asked whether his “big stick” Bill could lead to electricity privatisation, the Treasurer said “absolutely not”. This is a blatant lie.
The Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill makes it clear that divestment involves the sale of assets of one corporation to any other (unrelated) corporation (section 5.28).
In addition, it states that if the corporation subject to a divestment order is publicly owned, under strict conditions (section 5.30), the sale of divested assets can (but is not required to) be to other government owned corporations.
There is nothing in the “big stick” Bill that requires the sale of government assets to go to other government bodies and there is nothing in the Bill that stops the Morrison Liberal government from forcing the privatisation of government owned electricity assets, including Snowy Hydro, and government electricity companies in Queensland, Western Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania.
There’s only one guarantee with Morrison – more power privatisation and higher power prices.