Rallying against power privatisation

by Kate Dwyer
苏州美甲美睫培训

CAMDEN Haven lobby group Residents Against Power Pollution have inspired state by-election candidate James Langley to drum up community fervour to stop the privatisation of the electricity sector.

At public meetings on Saturday August 16 and Wednesday August 20 the call came for a community wide campaign in Port Macquarie, modelled on the RAPP movement.

The meetings at the Westport Club elected electricity worker and union delegate Kelly Smith as spokeswoman for the lobby group CAPE (Community Action against Privatising Electricity).

Ms Smith said the state government’s planned privatisation of the electricity sector could mean around 400 full time jobs are lost in the Hastings.

“The flow on effect will mean that all businesses in the wider community will suffer financially,” Ms Smith said.

“The proposed privatisation will be bad for electricity workers, small businesses, the environment, public services and all consumers across the entire state.

“Senior citizens on fixed incomes will also be affected. Electricity prices in Queensland and Victorian privatised markets have risen by approximately 11 and 17 per cent this year,” Ms Smith said.

Speaking to the meetings, Independent candidate for Port Macquarie James Langley suggested starting a community campaign the likes of RAPP’s work in defeating a diesel-fuelled power plant proposed for the Camden Haven.

“Most businesses in Port are already doing it hard,” Mr Langley said.

“The loss of hundreds of workers in this economy will lead directly to business closures. Port Macquarie will be launched into a protracted recession.

“The RAPP team have shown us that if the community unite and move as one, change is possible,” Mr Langley said.

Ms Smith said Unions NSW were organising a major anti-privatisation rally in Sydney for September 20.

“Port Macquarie has more to lose than most so we need to unite as a community and join the state in a fight to stop the sell-off.

“I call on the Chamber of Commerce, the churches, senior citizen groups and all aspiring political players in the coming elections to get together in a community campaign to protect our town. If you’re passionate about this community, you’ll be there.” Ms Smith said.

The first move for CAPE will be to pressure the state government to halt the debate in parliament until Port Macquarie has an elected representative, after the October 18 state by-election.

The second step in the CAPE campaign will be to inform local retail businesses of the risks posed by the loss of electricity workers jobs.

“As we saw at Latrobe Valley, people will go out of business as families are forced to leave Port,” Ms Smith said.

“The only way to avoid the Morris Iemma recession in Port is for the community to gather its united voice. We have decided that CAPE will be a non-partisan group. Our door will be open to support from all sectors of the community, and all local political players who have stated that they oppose the sell-off. We hope that this campaign can act to bring Port’s community together in a common cause after so much recent division” Ms Smith said.

The next community meeting will be held tomorrow (Thursday August 28) at 6pm.

For more information or to support CAPE contact Kelly Smith on 0431 220 831.

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