WA Labor will ban privatisation of public servicesWednesday 06 Mar 2013
Mark McGowan, WA Labor Leader
The evidence is stacking up against Colin Barnett's secret plans to sell Western Power to pay off his $18billion debt, WA Labor Leader Mark McGowan said today.
Mr McGowan rejected Mr Barnett's assertions that Western Power was not going to be sold, should the Liberal party be re-elected for a second term.
"The Barnett Government's plan to pay down debt is to sell off public services," Mr McGowan said.
"If Western Australians do not want public services like hospitals, Western Power and the Water Corporation privatised, they cannot trust Mr Barnett and Troy Buswell.
"During a debate in 2010, Mr Buswell told Parliament 'When I served as Treasurer, I was a great advocate for a greater use of the private sector to deliver public services, because I think it is a good model that delivers value for money'."
"On March 9 last year, Mr Barnett admitted that towards the end of his next term he 'would have to seriously think should I hand over to someone else'.
"That someone else is Troy Buswell, who is a self-confessed champion of privatisation.
"Both Mr Barnett and Mr Buswell voted against WA Labor's two Bills to save our public services from privatisation."
Further, extracts from minutes from a meeting between then Western Power Managing Director, David Eisezele (now Verve Energy Chairman) and Mr Barnett on February 2, 1998 clearly states that as Energy Minister, Mr Barnett discussed 'market reform options' and 'capital restructure'.
"The minutes are crystal clear. It states Mr Barnett told the Western Power Managing Director to 'plan for a one third equity sale along the Telstra lines'," Mr McGowan said.
"Mr Eisezele provided the minutes to his Western Power general managers and described his meeting with Mr Barnett as 'very positive'.
"There can be no denying Mr Barnett's intentions if re-elected."
Mr McGowan said if elected on March 9, his first act as Premier will be to issue a direction to the Under Treasurer to ban any privatisation of public services.
"WA Labor is the only party that can keep public services in public hands," he said.