QRail not for sale!


A few weeks ago the State Government announced it wants to privatise Queensland Rail (other than passenger services), Queensland Motorways, the Port of Brisbane, Forestry Plantations Queensland and the Abbot Point Coal Terminal.

If it gets away with selling these assets, what will be next – the electricity industry, our water supply? Many Queenslanders oppose such a fire sale of our public assets.

So does the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) and we are sponsoring a Statewide community campaign – the Light on the Hill campaign – to try and stop the sale.

Queenslanders concerned about the State Government’s proposal are invited to attend the following campaign activities in their area.

The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) is sponsoring a Statewide community campaign against the sale of public assets, including most of Queensland Rail, by the Bligh Labor Government.

The Light on the Hill campaign gives ETU members and their fellow Queenslanders a chance to speak out against the privatisation of State Government assets.

During the last State election campaign the ETU warned the Liberal National Party it would campaign against them when they announced, “a LNP government would not oppose privatisation of public assets”.

The announcement was made in the LNP’s economic platform: Addressing our Economic Objectives.

Well the same applies to the Labor Party, which has now embarked on a massive program of privatisation – and we do noimaget believe it will stop at Queensland Rail if they get away with it.

Electricity and water might be ruled out at the moment, but they will be next if Queenslanders don’t say NO to Privatisation now.

Queensland electricity prices have already jumped significantly since the privatisation of the retail electricity market.

Actually 17 per cent in two years and in December another 14 per cent rise was announced by the Queensland Competition Authority.

This is what happens all the time with privatisation.

The community is spun a line about the virtues of private ownership and competition, most of which never eventuates.

The big winners in privatisation are over-paid executives and brokerage firms, while consumers are left to find the extra money for rising bills.

Hasn’t the global financial crisis taught us anything about this type of behaviour? We are continually being told the global financial crisis will end at some time and that economic growth will return.

So there is no need to panic and start selling off things to fund a temporary problem.

The State Government should hold its nerve and not respond to conservative economic pressures to balance the books in the short term at the expense of the State’s long-term interests.

Haven’t governments, especially Labor governments, learnt the lesson of the 1930s, which is to put the needs of people and the community ahead of the socially-destructive expectations of conservative financiers and economists.

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