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Costa’s catastrophe

March 29th, 2011

A catastrophe like the one that befell the NSW Labor Party at the weekend can scarcely be attributed to a single individual, and indeed there were many contributors. But one person stands out above all others as deserving of credit or criticism – former Treasurer Michael Costa. Having risen through the trade union movement, he made his bones in Parliament as a union-busting Transport Minister. Appointed by the utterly hopeless Morris Iemma as Treasurer, he persuaded Iemma to privatise the electricity industry, in direct contradiction of the platform on which Labor had campaigned, and the previous repudiation of privatisation by NSW voters.

As the massive unpopularity of similar moves in Queensland had shown, Labor was doomed unless it repudiated Costa, Iemma and privatisation. The party managed the first two, but, not unfortunately the third.

In keeping with his entire career, Costa quit the day he became eligible for a Parliamentary pension, and immediately emerged in his true colours as an open enemy of the labour movement and the Labor Party.

As I said at the outset, it wouldn’t be possible for one person to do this alone. While I find it hard to attribute any real agency to Iemma, he and/or the Sussex street machine that nominated him to the Premiership could have stopped Costa if they wanted to.

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  1. conrad
    March 29th, 2011 at 18:13 | #1

    “and immediately emerged in his true colours as an open enemy of the labour movement and the Labor Party.”

    I think you are confusing what you want the Labor Party to be and what it is today.

  2. SJ
    March 29th, 2011 at 18:23 | #2

    It ain’t just what John wants the Labor Party to be. Polling indicates that that’s what the majority of the people who usually vote labor also want.

  3. Alice
    March 29th, 2011 at 18:26 | #3

    Dead right. However I wouldnt let Costa wear all the blame. Lets not forget Carr and Egan who really started the whole privatisation mantra all the while when they were rolling in stamp dutires (in fact became utterly addicted to overdevelopment policies and the formation of an intensely close relationship with residential developers who also poured donations into their pockets both for the party and their insider trading from it, by numerous labour mates and individuals associated with the ranks of NSW labor).
    All the while the approach towards vital infrastructure investment was hopelessly haphazard and piecemeal (with numerous failed PPS along the way). At least Obeid had the honesty to note their approach to transport was piecemeal recently…but it was sloppy, grossly inadequate and piecemeal for 16 years which is time enough for problems to deteriorate rapidly.

  4. conrad
    March 29th, 2011 at 18:43 | #4

    “Polling indicates that that’s what the majority of the people who usually vote labor also want”

    Maybe, but at least in NSW, it appears the reality is that most would rather vote for a more right-wing party (the Libs) than a more left-wing party (the Greens, who gained very little), no matter what they say.

    Off hand, I can’t think of any Labor governments that are not centre-right economic rationalists and are not also socially conservative. When was the last one that wasn’t?

  5. rog
    March 29th, 2011 at 19:10 | #5

    PJK was busy on the telly tonight whitewashing the NSW right, despite repeated questions about the NSW disease spreading to Canberra he maintained that it was all union’s fault.

  6. SJ
    March 29th, 2011 at 19:21 | #6

    You’ve got an excluded middle there, conrad. And you’re making a false assumption that NSW Labor was less right-wing than the NSW Libs.

    The majority of Australians reject the hard right. Keating, Kennet and now the NSW Labor right.

  7. SJ
    March 29th, 2011 at 19:25 | #7

    Keating’s role is the NSW debacle was and is absolutely reprehensible. He was chairman of Lazard Capital, advisors to the NSW government on the electricity privatisation, and who was getting a success fee for the sale. He’s no elder statesman, he’s a money grubbing weasel.

  8. Alice
    March 29th, 2011 at 19:26 | #8

    @conrad
    Conrad get over your pathetic ideology peddling…..enough people voted for Barry because they are fed up with the privatisations, lack of infrastructure investment ie traffic and health and if liberals want to constrict the NSW budget to starvation point with the mess we have now and pay homage to American ratings agencies whilst the traffic and electricity prices goes up the creek further – liberals will be thrown out as moronic incompetents too so If I was you Id go spout your silly jargon somewhere else.
    Die hard rusted on liberals like yourself are probably in the minority of who voted for OFarrell last Sat.. and we know now what can happen to rusted on voters especially when problems loom large.
    This is no time for your budget surpluses you idiot.

  9. Alice
    March 29th, 2011 at 19:34 | #9

    @SJ
    Agree – Keating was the weasel who twisted Hawkies mind and everyone elses in Labor…not that some other things didnt twist Hawkies mind.

  10. paul walter
    March 29th, 2011 at 19:36 | #10

    Somebody should shout the prof a beer.
    Comments policy violation deleted. I’ll have the beer but please don’t post comments like this

  11. TerjeP
    March 29th, 2011 at 19:42 | #11

    I met Costa briefly at what was essentially a libertarian dinner function a while after he left politics. Costa is basically a libertarian that refuses to wear the label because in his words it is an American import. He is a huge fan of Hayek (had a picture of him on his office wall) and thought most government programs were a waste of taxpayers money and described them as akin to theft. I really quite like his outlook although he is incredibly combative in conversation and I imagine he was hard to work with. The privatisation initiative under Iemma and Costa would have happened except that Barry O’Farrell decided to block it. This leaves me very sceptical about whether Barry O’Farrell will do much worth while reform. O’Farrell strikes me as little more than a political opportunist.

    Keating was on 7:30 tonight and he wasn’t blaming Costa. He was blaming the machine men who opposed privatisation

  12. conrad
    March 29th, 2011 at 19:48 | #12

    “Die hard rusted on liberals like yourself”

    If only you knew what my real beliefs were before you started making assertions about my personal characteristics — this sort of thing reminds of Catallaxy commentators, except from the other side of the political spectrum (but same sort of attitude). I was just pointing out the reality of the situation. Personally, I think that NSW Labor is crap, and the only reason they stayed in so long is that the Libs were even crapper.

    “And you’re making a false assumption that NSW Labor was less right-wing than the NSW Libs”

    That’s possible — I haven’t kept up with the latest NSW governments since I stopped living there, but they wern’t as far right some of the delightful leaders the Libs had like Chikarovski.

    “The majority of Australians reject the hard right. Keating, Kennet and now the NSW Labor right.”

    They were all very successful (NSW especially so — 16 years in power) — and all governments fall eventually.

    You still haven’t answered my initial question incidentally, which I assume means you basically agree that the Labor party is now yet another right-wing rationalist machine and has been for quite some time.

  13. TerjeP
    March 29th, 2011 at 19:48 | #13

    JQ – are you going to permit continued obscenities such as this:-

    No. As you may imagine, I don’t patrol the comments threads continuously, so the implication in “continued” is not welcome – JQ

  14. SJ
    March 29th, 2011 at 20:03 | #14

    They were all very successful (NSW especially so — 16 years in power) — and all governments fall eventually.

    You still haven’t answered my initial question incidentally, which I assume means you basically agree that the Labor party is now yet another right-wing rationalist machine and has been for quite some time.

    Why continue with this silly narrative? The point at which the NSW Labor right went “hard right” is identified in this very post. Hint: it has something to do with Michael Costa.

  15. matt
    March 29th, 2011 at 20:06 | #15

    I’m not sure I’d characterise the NSW libs as more right wing than the NSW Labor party. That said I do live interstate and there is probably a bit I am missing out on. Please, if possible would someone with more knowledge on NSW politics be able to highlight some differences?

  16. SJ
    March 29th, 2011 at 20:10 | #16

    If only you knew what my real beliefs were before you started making assertions about my personal characteristics — this sort of thing reminds of Catallaxy commentators, except from the other side of the political spectrum (but same sort of attitude).

    BTW, can you cut out this sort of whining? If you want to say something about your own “real beliefs”, you could just say something like: “My beliefs are x,y,z”.

  17. conrad
    March 29th, 2011 at 20:13 | #17

    “Hint: it has something to do with Michael Costa.”

    I’m sure it does, but Michael Costa is only an individual. The fact of the matter is that it was a very successful political strategy for Labor to occupy the ground they did and push the Libs further to the right, and that’s no doubt one of the reason Costa was able to get where he is (because they wanted it). This was replicated to some degree all over Australia, and that’s now what the Labor party is, whether people happen to like it or not. Just look at how long Kruddy lasted once he started having ideas that didn’t conform to this, and look at what he was replaced by. No mining tax, victimize the most vulnerable, and even of the concessions made to this ideology, it’s hard to know what was done simply to placate the Greens and other members of parliament. It’s not just the story of the NSW right.

  18. Peter T
    March 29th, 2011 at 20:14 | #18

    While I probably disagree with TerjeP on almost everything else, I strongly support his comment above. I don’t find torture fantasies amusing – and the approach is redolent of what it rejects (cf Graham Richardson’s blowtorch)

  19. Fran Barlow
    March 29th, 2011 at 20:16 | #19

    @conrad

    Our system is like the old joke about buying a Ford — you can haqve any colour — as long as it’s black.

    There’s absolutely no doubt that the vast majority of ALP voters and a fair tranche of non-committeds would like a more communitarian ALP than we have. That’s why Anna Bligh and Iemma both campaigned against privatisation and why their popularity nosedived when they went for it. At no point in the whole privatisation debate did those supporting it go above 30% and the ALP base was opposed to it by about 90%.

    When governments act in this way, not only do most people feel deeply troubled and disempowered and betrayed, but they act in the only way they can — they switch sides. O’Farrell seemed to be against it. Good enough. He’s now on notice. I doubt he will try it. That 36% swing in Bathurst — that was Lithgow declaring on what they thought of the deal.

    @TerjeP

    Costa is basically a libertarian that refuses to wear the label because in his words it is an American import. He is a huge fan of Hayek (had a picture of him on his office wall) and thought most government programs were a waste of taxpayers money

    I’d say his pension was a huge waste of taxpayers’ money, and I’m not even a rightwing libertarian. Then again, Costa plainly disagreed. He certainly came up with a suitable rightwing libertarian response to it.

    Costa quit the day he became eligible for a Parliamentary pension

    Plainly, the incentive to “work” (if that is the correct term for what he did) had entirely dissipated. Then again, perhaps he simply thought himself a waste of space. He was flattering himself if so, but in the right ballpark.

  20. conrad
    March 29th, 2011 at 20:17 | #20

    SJ, I was just expressing my surprise that after the first thing I said (which I don’t think was rude or unreasonable), there was Alice to jump down my throat for it. As it is, I expect that from Catallaxy (it is so blokey after all), but usually most places are a bit more polite. And now your saying I’m whining. And people wonder why some blogs end up with 6 commentators that all agree with each other.

  21. SJ
    March 29th, 2011 at 20:17 | #21

    What’s your point here, conrad? If you have one, just come out and say it.

  22. SJ
    March 29th, 2011 at 20:19 | #22

    Ignore that last comment conrad, we cross-poted.

  23. paul walter
    March 29th, 2011 at 20:19 | #23

    Matt, with most aussie politics you get right and then you get further to the right. Its just that it happens in Sydney before percolating through to the rest of the country. To do with globalisation and dumbing down.
    I’ll pay Terje the compliment of being accurate in his description of Costa, but wonder how he could imagine this could be attractive to ordinary people since we move to a corporatist “command”economy such as happened in NSW, with the corporatists and their closed circle.
    But more importantly, I’d ask Terje where all this (conspicuous)”theft” that so troubles him, actually begins, when it is built on the “theft”of opportunity for most others.
    If (conspicuous

  24. SJ
    March 29th, 2011 at 20:26 | #24

    Please accept my apologies, conrad, it seems I was over hasty. These are sensitive times.

  25. Freelander
    March 29th, 2011 at 20:28 | #25

    There has always been money in privatisation. Big money. Commissions, consultancies, money for raising money for financing and for equity. Money for some when there is some undervaluation involved, or others when their is overvaluation involved. More money on the money go round when things go wrong, restructuring and fine tuning the regulatory set up. Just not so much in it for the taxpayer.

    With privatisation there is also great scope for corruption and instant wealth. Privatisation certainly worked wonders for the former Communist block. Privatisation may be why so many in so many of these countries now long for the ‘good old days’.

    Not surprising that those who seek private benefit would support privatisation regardless of whether there is any public benefit or not.

  26. TerjeP
    March 29th, 2011 at 20:52 | #26

    I’ll pay Terje the compliment of being accurate in his description of Costa, but wonder how he could imagine this could be attractive to ordinary people since we move to a corporatist “command”economy such as happened in NSW, with the corporatists and their closed circle.

    Libertarianism is not corporatism. And if you think it is then you have not been paying attention. For starters the NSW ALP government was not even remotely libertarian.

    Can libertarianism be appealing to ordinary people? I have no idea but I sure as heck wish we didn’t have to contend with crooked electoral laws in our quest to find out.

  27. conrad
    March 29th, 2011 at 20:54 | #27

    “There’s absolutely no doubt that the vast majority of ALP voters and a fair tranche of non-committeds would like a more communitarian ALP than we have.”

    Fran, I haven’t seen figures for this, but I’d certainly bet you’re correct. However, it seems to me that the only way the Labor party is going to redeem themselves from people that are more cynical like myself is to actually do something. Given that the only place it appears they will hang on is federally (possibly Qld), I think it’s really up to them to do something to show people they arn’t what people’s imagination thinks they are, or they might be waiting until people have forgotten the old crew which is going to be a very long time in some places (including Victoria). Perhaps Gillard needs to surprise people with something neither the Greens or anyone else can take credit for easily. Perhaps they really could do something about the education system that isn’t just a silly My Schools thing. Perhaps they really could do something about the training system, which is basically stuffed. Perhaps they really could do something realistic about the environment that Bob Brown didn’t think of first and isn’t cash-for-clunkers. Perhaps they really could do something about all sorts of important things. However, until they’ve done this, I can’t see why I would expect them to act any differently to now.

  28. jakerman
    March 29th, 2011 at 20:55 | #28

    Fran Barlow :
    <
    @TerjeP

    Costa is basically a libertarian that refuses to wear the label because in his words it is an American import. He is a huge fan of Hayek (had a picture of him on his office wall) and thought most government programs were a waste of taxpayers money

    I’d say his pension was a huge waste of taxpayers’ money, and I’m not even a rightwing libertarian. Then again, Costa plainly disagreed. He certainly came up with a suitable rightwing libertarian response to it.

    Costa quit the day he became eligible for a Parliamentary pension

    Plainly, the incentive to “work” (if that is the correct term for what he did) had entirely dissipated. Then again, perhaps he simply thought himself a waste of space. He was flattering himself if so, but in the right ballpark.

    Well put Fran.

  29. Uncle Milton
    March 29th, 2011 at 21:04 | #29

    For the perfect parody of Michael Costa, find Iemma’s Dilemma on YouTube.

  30. paul walter
    March 29th, 2011 at 21:31 | #30

    “Once a trot, always a trot”.
    Well, there we have it, straight from the horse’s mouth.
    I refuse to talk to trots too, by-by Terje!

  31. Alice
    March 29th, 2011 at 22:26 | #31

    @rog
    Roj says
    “PJK was busy on the telly tonight whitewashing the NSW right, despite repeated questions about the NSW disease spreading to Canberra he maintained that it was all union’s fault.”

    If enough dogs get together and start barking eventually you can tell which one is the pack leader.

  32. Alice
    March 29th, 2011 at 22:34 | #32

    As for PJK blaming it on the unions – he is only doing that because obviously he still follows his hopeless US imported business model of privatisation and rampant unthinking de-regulation. He is annoyed at the unions for not accepting the privatisation of electricity. He is the pack leader. PJK obviously is in the same sort of denial as the rest of his party.

    Oh go away PJK.

    How loud does the elctorate have to say it ….the majority dont like privatisations of essential infrastructure (roads, electricity, water). The unions didnt like it either. The Australian people know what they do and dont like – so why do these people get in, call themselves labor, do the opposite to what we want, and then try to convince themselves and us its working when its not?

  33. Alice
    March 29th, 2011 at 22:43 | #33

    The modern Australian governments idea of investing in infrastructure?

    Designing a new website toy for us to “get the facts”.

  34. March 29th, 2011 at 23:44 | #34

    @Fran Barlow
    I’m in Lithgow (more or less) so I can confirm what you are saying. I would further add that this is the electorate that only a few years ago voted in Peter Andren federally, (the most decent parliamentarian of the Howard era) then Bob Debus (about as decent as NSW Labor gets). Lithgow is so Labor that even most of the small business people vote Labor and there have in the past even been competing Labor tickets for Council elections just to put on a show (seriously, allowed by head office). I went through the booth figures and the only booth where the National vote even got down near the 50% mark was in Kandos, the bleakest small cement town imaginable. In most of the electorate the National’s vote was up around 65% or more primary vote. The retiring Labor incumbent had become completely despised because of his local statements opposing privatisation and his record of then voting for it – he was the whip so it’s hardly surprising. Paul Toole, the Nationals candidate is an amiable but slippery young professional politician trained since birth but neither does that explain the result. People in general even seemed to like the ALP candidate, a reasonably presentable (if not well known) local who may well have won on a different day. The simple explanation is just revulsion, both of privatisation and of what the ALP has become. You don’t get a more rusted on heartland than Lithgow but on Saturday the hatred of the ALP was palpable.

  35. Alice
    March 30th, 2011 at 07:06 | #35

    Oh and the blame game keeps rolling on. Today we have PJK blaming Robertson – (and frankly that NSW Labor even thinks Robertson is a potential premier is truly pathetic and shows they have no talent left and are scraping the bottom of the barrel).

    Its too late for Robbo – his name is already smeared as a developer land dealer and a Costa mate.

    Yet PJKs gripe is that Robbo opposed Iemma’s privatisation (sorry but that doesnt save Robbo either). As for PJK – we should have woken up when he started wearing Armani suits and forcing his “personal” business model down labor faithfuls throats. He doesnt get it either…MOST sane people oppose privatisation of electricity.

    These fools (yes like PJK) pushing the zombie economic policies that the prof rails against dont get that we need a better grid and we need that for better trains because they are cleaner and we need a better grid for better use of solar because its cleaner…but we wont get a better grid by handing bits to this private company and another bit to another private company and so on and expecting them to come up an integrated solution. They will just fight each other and gouge the rest of us wherever they can.

    Some things you cant carve up and privatise and electricity and the grid and how we use it is paramount to our future.

    Now we have Sartor sending a dear Eddie letter (get lost) to Obeid in todays SMH. Im sure Sartor is right. Im sure Obeid did run NSW like his own personal building company, reward his project managers and collect obscene amounts of developer donations.

    BUT we all knew that. The developers have been running over every piece of spare community and public land, stripping public schools, tafes, unis and parks and erecting massively unfriendly compacted lots of residential developments on them, blocking drains with the run off, congesting traffic with the associated cars, without thought to existing road capability (let alone constructing accommodating transport infrastructure), the environment or community use and totally ignoring local communities needs and local councils. Part 3A stinks to high heaven – so does the “state significance” process and the land and environment court.

    We all knew about the developer donations for simply years, painful years and we didnt nd dont get our vote soon enough. BUT Sartor, if he is honest, played the game and went along with Obeid and helped to collect those donations. So did Iemma. KK herself was the queen of the developer donations fundraising team before she even became planning minister, let alone the Premier.

    So Sartor isnt pure either and he shows his chief objection to Obeid was being knifed by Eddie in favour of Kristina. Frank musnt have been collecting quite enough.

    The boys can keep on talking – but they are not telling us anything we didnt already know.

  36. rog
    March 30th, 2011 at 07:24 | #36

    To be fair Alice land development takes decades of acquisition and planning and for a time NSW dropped the ball in that dept. When Bob Carr was first elected he said ‘we are not in the business of selling land’ (or words similar) which sent shivers through the industry. Without vision and planning and, most importantly, a land bank, there will be shortages which influence prices. I don’t know about other states but in NSW the only choices are to convert Crown Land title or do deals with existing developers who had anticipated the need and bought up tracts of land years creating their own land bank. The state got caught out having to deliver costly services after the urban expansion.

  37. Alice
    March 30th, 2011 at 07:30 | #37

    Rog the state should have thought of that. Its called planning.

  38. Banned One
    March 30th, 2011 at 08:55 | #38

    You can call me an idiot because I am one

    OK, Tony, you’re an idiot

  39. jakerman
    March 30th, 2011 at 09:12 | #39

    Banned One:

    You can call me an idiot if you like for supporting a party that has people like this in it.

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/03/tony_abbott_gets_his_climate_s.php

    Fixed your link for you B.O.

  40. nick
    March 30th, 2011 at 10:11 | #40

    we have a national electricity market where electricity privatisation is a no brainer.

    Gross stupidity for govts to be generating power in competiton with an abundance of private firms doing.

    Flog them off and putting the money and savings into other far more deserving and essential areas that have been neglected and are hurting our economy.

    Of great benefit to vic and sa. The other states are paying for their failure to get it through.

  41. March 30th, 2011 at 10:28 | #41

    @nick
    No brainers have caused many of the problems we now face. At a time when managed reduction of power consumption is the highest possible priority there are better arguments for nationalisation than for privatisation.

  42. nick
    March 30th, 2011 at 10:49 | #42

    nonsense.

    Look at the vic and sa case studies, their markets are working fine, consumers have lower prices and govts have benefited.

    In comparison nsw and qld are dragging the chain and imposing massive inefficiencies on everyone who resides there.

  43. March 30th, 2011 at 11:11 | #43

    @nick
    Encouraging increased consumption by lowering prices? Get you priorities right.

  44. nick
    March 30th, 2011 at 11:27 | #44

    nup, dollars in you hippocket for those smart enough to minimise their consumption.

    Priorities you say ?

    Surely your not suggesting higher prices from gross inefficiency in production and distribution of electricity is welfare improving and the appropriate way to achieve carbon abatement ?

    That would be way more costly than tony abbotts carbon abatement policy and that’s saying something…

  45. March 30th, 2011 at 11:34 | #45

    nick :
    dollars in you hippocket for those smart enough to minimise their consumption.

    That works no matter what the price and is my point exactly. The last thing we need right now is corporations seeking to increase profits by increasing energy consumption.

  46. jakerman
    March 30th, 2011 at 11:49 | #46

    Nick prices jumped hugely in SA when electricity was privatized. The government lossed revenue and investment in the Grid fell.

    Tell me about gross inefficiency!

    privatisation of the South Australian electricity industry has reduced the net worth of the public sector … the interest savings on the sale price will fall consistently short of the earnings foregone through privatisation. This is consistent with most Australian experience of privatisation (Quiggin, 2001).

    http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1039&context=artspapers&sei-redir=1#search=“electricity+privatisation+in+south+australia”

    Over-reliance on market-based economics will undermine the capacity of the government to ensure that this triple bottom line approach is realised. As noted earlier, the privatisation of the electricity industry in South Australia and its parallel participation in the National Electricity Market have raised concerns in the community about electricity pricing and system reliability. It now appears that the government has less capacity to meet social objectives like affordability and reliability, and environmental objectives such as reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. (John Spoehr
    )

  47. nick
    March 30th, 2011 at 12:19 | #47

    to answer u both prices have gone up everywhere just massively more so in nsw/qld due to their inefficiencies.

    Ian you don’t seem to be aware of how the national electricity market works and how heavily regulated it is by the australian energy regulator.

    See garnutts excellent update paper 8 he released yesterday that covers in much more detail the points I’m making above,

  48. may
    March 30th, 2011 at 12:24 | #48

    pre-industrialisation phase of worlds first continuously manufactured dye senstitised photovoltaic product on steel for building applications.
    at Shotton in North Wales.
    Dyesol (from Queanbeyan) and Tata (from India)
    functional coated steel for rooves and walls.

    i’m sure there will be the nah nah chorus but i’m excited.

    why did it take an Indian company and the Welsh Assembly to facilitate an Australian product?

    the election in NSW.
    libs stayed lib but lab? what lab?

  49. Ivan
    March 30th, 2011 at 12:52 | #49

    As many have observed a major cause of the demise of NSW ALP was the Iemma government’s push for privatisation against the wishes of the rank & file of ALP & the wider public. But what is not mentioned is that Iemma was driven to this because he could not fund the expenditure on services & transport & other infrastructure that the public also demanded. Maybe John Quiggin woud like to comment but I understand a major reason the government was short of funds was because the Howard/Costello government starved the states. Contary to the Howard/Costello claim that the GST would leave the states awash with funds the only independent studies I have seen reported found the states were only marginally better off than they would have been under the old Commonwealth/State financial arrangements the GST replaced. As the good citizens complained about NSW hospitals Howard reduced the Commonwealth share from 50% to 30% & diverted funds to health insurance which benefitted the well off. similarly Commonwealth funding was diverted to private schools including the very wealthy. Over the Howard/Costello reign the states’ share of the total receipts of all governments in Australia went from 42% to 38%; the proportion they last received in the 1970′s. The result was the states were unable to invest in public infastructure resulting in the huge backlog today estimated at $250 billion. Thus Iemma & other states resort to privatisation, expensive PPP deals & poker machine & other notorious taxes. All of this might not have mattered if the ALP had rejected the Howard/Costello mantra driven by right wing ideology & not economics (& which has also become accepted by much of the public) that government taxes, expenditure & debt are automatically bad & must be removed or reduced. Gillard/Swan have accepted this mantra greatly restricting what their government can do while Howard’s successor Abbott even opposes an equitable tax to ensure Australians get a fair return from their non-renewable resources. The ALP must reject the false Coalition dogma & return to the former role of Australian governments of all persuasions in directly funding & providing the much needed infrastructure the public demands.

  50. Andrew
    March 30th, 2011 at 12:59 | #50

    The Labor brand is now toxic. It won’t be long (~2 years) before we’ve got Coaltion governments around the country. And although I won’t make rash predictions that the ALP will never govern again (I seem to recall someone making that prediction about the Coalition after the Howard government was voted out – sorry, PQ, couldn’t resist the dig!) – it looks like the ALP is going to spend a long time in the wilderness trying to work out what it really stands for. Yes we’re two years out, but the Gillard government already looks doomed.

    People pick and choose the angles that suit their ideology. The pro-privatisation crowd reckon the lack of will to privatise was the problem, the anti-privatisation crowd reckon the opposite. I reckon it was irrelevant. The common voter couldn’t give tuppence about privatisation – mainstream Australia just wants a fiscally responsible government, socially conservative government that delivers the best possible government services in health, education, law and order and infrastructure. The NSW ALP did none of this. The Fed ALP aso appears to be struggling with peripheral issues like mining taxes and now carbon taxes. Eyes off the ball – ball dropped.

  51. jakerman
    March 30th, 2011 at 13:17 | #51

    Nick see: http://www.switchwise.com.au/

    Adelaide $/kWh = 0.28
    Melbourne $/kWh = 0.24
    Sydney $/kWh = 0.23
    Brisbane $/kWh = 0.22

  52. jakerman
    March 30th, 2011 at 13:21 | #52

    And add these higher costs (above) to this loss:

    privatisation of the South Australian electricity industry has reduced the net worth of the public sector … the interest savings on the sale price will fall consistently short of the earnings foregone through privatisation. This is consistent with most Australian experience of privatisation (Quiggin, 2001).

  53. Gordicans
    March 30th, 2011 at 13:31 | #53

    “Yes we’re two years out, but the Gillard government already looks doomed.”

    The Gillard government looks doomed? Really? To whom?

    One could only come to this conclusion if you read nothing but the Murdoch press.

  54. nick
    March 30th, 2011 at 14:07 | #54

    thats only the consumption charge jak does no include the massive network charges.

    Ps btw fwiw I was however talking about price changes not absolute prices

    Pps there are a whole heap of factors in the nem that affect the consumption charge

    Pps sa consumption charges have always been slightly higher due to location/specific factors in their market etc

    Ppps nsw/qld network charges are going through the roof and they will also be hit hard by the carbon tax

  55. conrad
    March 30th, 2011 at 14:21 | #55

    “Yes we’re two years out, but the Gillard government already looks doomed.”

    I don’t think so unless Abbott gets booted and replaced with someone better. I also think the climate change stuff will go through and no-one will notice anything serious, and Abbott will be all the worse for it. That will be enough to swing the still quite tight battle to Labor. This is why one reason why NSW Labor was in for so long incidentally — because the opposition looked even worse. Of course two woeful parties is bad for everybody.

    “mainstream Australia just wants a fiscally responsible government, socially conservative government”

    Actually, I would think that both Labor and the Libs are more socially conservative than the general population (far more so in fact).

  56. boconnor
    March 30th, 2011 at 14:23 | #56

    Andrew :
    …peripheral issues like mining taxes and now carbon taxes. Eyes off the ball – ball dropped.

    Hmm… I would have thought that (a) a super profits tax on mining companies was both good labor economic policy and a way of dealing with the real issue of the adverse effects on other parts of the economy by the mining boom; and (b) a carbon tax/ETS to reduce GHG emissions is probably the most important issue a true, socially aware party should tackle – hardly peripheral.

  57. jakerman
    March 30th, 2011 at 14:58 | #57

    thats only the consumption charge jak does no include the massive network charges.

    Its the actual price paid by consumers. It includes charges as past on to the consumers.

    we have a national electricity market where electricity privatisation is a no brainer.

    Not so much.

    Gross stupidity for govts to be generating power in competiton with an abundance of private firms doing. Flog them off and putting the money and savings into other far more deserving and essential areas that have been neglected and are hurting our economy.

    Or keep them an their revenue, and and use it provide even more services.

    Of great benefit to vic and sa. The other states are paying for their failure to get it through.

    The opposite is the case supported by the evidence.

  58. Freelander
    March 30th, 2011 at 15:00 | #58

    @jakerman

    JQ’s finding on the South Australian electricity privatization, that public net worth declined as a result of the sale, is something that has been found again and again around the world. In the UK, the privatizers argued that it was a good thing if the assets were sold cheaply. The argument was that the government net worth declining as a result was a good thing. It meant for one that it would be so much harder for government to ever privatize anything again. Also, impoverishing government is the objective of the small government crowd. An impoverished government is unable to do anything much which is exactly the kind of government they love.

  59. jakerman
    March 30th, 2011 at 15:02 | #59

    thats only the consumption charge jak does no include the massive network charges.

    Its the actual price paid by consumers. It includes charges as past on to the consumers. It also includes the profits gouged by the profit driven olligarchies controlling our essentail services.

  60. paul walter
    March 30th, 2011 at 15:14 | #60

    I think there is a parallel to refugee policy and neoconservatism, with privatisation and neoliberalism. There could be some rational half way point, but one side won’t compromise.
    Keating and Costa and the Tory right, are the pol-economic equivalent to Alan Jones and Abbott and Dick Cheney in a slightly different context, as to humanitarian policy.
    One objective is desired and it doesn’t matter who is injured as collateral damage on the way (thinking of the nineteen yo lad that suicided in a fit of depression a couple of days ago at Curtin). They are so infatuated with greed and with the Nietzchean and Wagnerian elements of “creative destruction”.

  61. nick
    March 30th, 2011 at 16:37 | #61

    don’t think so jak, network charges are not paid by consumers per kwh

    the govt regulates the monopoly part of the business so they can’t do that unless the govt allows it

    Generation is a competitive market so no issue there and no need for govt involvement

    Haven’t read the report, hope its not ideologically driven.

    I’m in vic and know we got a massive price for our assets here, would be interesting to see what a study here would find.

    Hope it was not a strategic decision not to do the study on vic.

  62. jakerman
    March 30th, 2011 at 17:04 | #62

    don’t think so jak, network charges are not paid by consumers per kwh

    If the network charges are not paid ultimately by revenue passed along the chain from consumer, then how are they paid?

  63. Ernestine Gross
    March 30th, 2011 at 17:29 | #63

    jakerman :Nick see: http://www.switchwise.com.au/
    Adelaide $/kWh = 0.28Melbourne $/kWh = 0.24Sydney $/kWh = 0.23Brisbane $/kWh = 0.22

    The prices you quote do not correspond to the costing as shown in my last bill.
    a) variable consumptiion costs (to the consumer) consist of a step function. Up to x kwh/day unit price is 17.35 cents. For kwh/day > x the unit price is higher ( I don’t know how high because I am an energy wise customer!)
    c) Off peak: 7.600 cents per kwh.
    d) SAC (supply charge) 43 cents per day.
    The above figures are before GST.

    The switchwise site is of no use to me for switching because there are too many hidden assumptions in the program (eg it asks the user to give the energy consumption from the last bill, after asking for the billing interval, and then gives an estimate of the estimated saving range per annum. This is bound to be wrong for many people.)

    I’ve got a story to tell about AGL and its cost accountants and its marketing people. The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. The pomo lot of managers head their brochure on ‘explaining costs’ with something like ‘you need to understand’. Well it can’t be understood. I hope this management lot goes out with the NSW Labor government.

  64. nick
    March 30th, 2011 at 17:30 | #64

    fixed charge to the consumer

  65. Alice
    March 30th, 2011 at 17:45 | #65

    @Banned One
    ha ha – I really cant help laughing at Profs comment to banned one….(aka Tony G). I dont know what my friend Paul Walter did to make Prof accept his offer of a beer but ban is post…not my dear Paul!

  66. Alice
    March 30th, 2011 at 17:55 | #66

    @nick
    Nick says “we have a national electricity market where electricity privatisation is a no brainer.”

    er ahem no Nick – we own the poles and the wires…and what we have is national energy demand on a pathetic grid that cant handle and handful of extra trains without bowing it, that cant handle what solar energy was generating and putting back into it, and that wont handle a couple of dodgy private outfits trying to rake in as much as they can in a short space of time using the same inadequate old grid.

    Jeez zome people can be stupid. Im beginning to hate the sounds of the words “economic reform”….in this country. “Economic reform” means “flog it off”.

    Oh OK , I give up. Flog it all off and whinge later that it doesnt work. The only thing wrong with solar is not that it doesnt generate enough energy – its that teh bastards in the private electricity markets dont want it because they dont own it and they cant control it – hence these idiot electricity companies would rather deliver us all to nuclear (where 3 decades of radioactive waste can be stored under their roof instead of, like solar on top our or roofs).

    Some people just dont get it.

  67. fred
    March 30th, 2011 at 18:09 | #67

    Current electricity charges for SA from my supplier as at 10 Feb. 2011 notifying me of their rates increase.
    [They seem to be charging the same as other suppliers as far as my research could discover, very little difference one way or the other.]

    First 3 kW [rounded] @ 24.321 cents each

    Next 7 kW [rounded] @ 27.379 cents each

    Summer peak @ 29.150 cents

    Winter peak @ 25.718 cents

    Sevice charge 59.609 cents per day.

    The increase amounts to [according to the company] $3.09 per residential household per week.

    Make of that what you will.

    Incidentally I’m getting solar panels within a month and estimate conservatively that I will save about $800 per year which will pay for the panels within 5 years and I have a warranty for 10 years [I think, as soon as I typed that it occurred to me that it may be 20 years].

  68. Alice
    March 30th, 2011 at 18:22 | #68

    Does anyone want to take up my idea of a solar pergola – thats for all those people who are happy to spend money on pergolas but wont stomach solar?

    Connect them all up (house to house) in a sea of hot flat backyards like we have in the Australian suburbs and this could turn into something big?

    Any takers? The electricity companies just arent interested. They have us connected to electricity from the grid and paying through the nose. So does JB hi fi. So does LG. So does Westinghouse. They would rather keep us there and addicted to electricity, where we all are now and if we object strongly to prices they might give us a nuclear power plant.

    All hail the mighty electric power companies. They have us hung out to dry and begging for something, anything and they will offer us nuclear, which it just so happens they can accommodate (under their roof).

    Ask for solar and we will all hear endless pro corporation trolls telling us why its not feasible…lies, lies lies.

  69. Ernestine Gross
    March 30th, 2011 at 18:45 | #69

    @Alice

    What about fixed costs?

  70. nick
    March 30th, 2011 at 19:08 | #70

    who’s we alice ?

    In vic/sa everything, including poles and wires is privately owned and run and regulated by the govts australian energy regulator.

    Ur in nsw I take it ? Can understand ur frustration, should have been privatised years ago. Nsw labor botched things and doubt ofarell will be any better ….

  71. jakerman
    March 30th, 2011 at 19:30 | #71

    Nick the cost comparison I gave were based on the total cost p.a. (including supply charge) divided by total energy kWh/year. This includes fixed charges.

    Ernestine, this is I suspect why my figures it won’t match your unit price, its factoring total costs not just the unit price.

  72. paul walter
    March 30th, 2011 at 19:35 | #72

    He wasn’t happy with my repair plan for Costa, Alice. Maybe he thought I wanted to use these implements on Costa in a different, less repair minded way than I obvious meant and thought I was getting a bit close to incitement.
    Same with Abbott, who I might have mentioned.
    I’d still shout him a beer, even tho he barracks for the Eagles, the thread starter was good.

  73. Alice
    March 30th, 2011 at 19:49 | #73

    Who on earth are the eagles?? Never heard of them!

    I barrack for the Tartan Army myself, due to their time honoured committment to hoolganism and drunk and disorderly conduct.

    As for Costa, there is a fix – he is surely beyond self correction – its odd but he really reminds me of Keith Windschuttle – I cant put my finger on it – a sort of vacuous loud mouthed publicity seeking type – but its all about him.

    I suggest we put him on the London underground (if it still works and hasnt been economically reformed) with the Tartan army on the way home from a game.

  74. Alice
    March 30th, 2011 at 19:52 | #74

    @nick
    Nick – you are obviously in Adelaide. Yes it surely has the same NSW problems with the grid and population….Im sure (not). Glad privatisation works well for you in the outback.

  75. Alice
    March 30th, 2011 at 19:55 | #75

    Oh and Nick – wasnt the lack of infrastructure and lack of maintenance (ie cutting back) around poles and wires in VIc responsible partly responsible for the busfires?. You think we forget. I dont. They dont.

  76. paul walter
    March 30th, 2011 at 20:02 | #76

    Are you descended from the barbarian hordes sweeping down from the north, wreaking vengeance on the ancestors of the Longshanks?
    the Eagles are an Aussie rules footy team from Adelaide the prof reckoned he barracks for, and my team’s most serious rival in SA aussie rules, the last decade.
    I dare not answer as to what I think of your Costa idea. I think it would be cruel and unusual treatment- for the Tartan Army.
    Have had the chance to checkoput Uncle Milton’s suggestion,above, as to”Iemma’s dilemma”, on Utube?.

  77. paul walter
    March 30th, 2011 at 20:05 | #77

    Sorry, typo. Alice, I meant, did you get the chance to check out “Iemma’s Dilemma”, if you hadn’t seen it before.

  78. Ernestine Gross
    March 30th, 2011 at 20:26 | #78

    jakerman :Nick the cost comparison I gave were based on the total cost p.a. (including supply charge) divided by total energy kWh/year. This includes fixed charges.
    Ernestine, this is I suspect why my figures it won’t match your unit price, its factoring total costs not just the unit price.

    I don’t think so. What are the parameter values in your calculation?

  79. Ernestine Gross
    March 30th, 2011 at 20:34 | #79

    nick :who’s we alice ?
    In vic/sa everything, including poles and wires is privately owned and run and regulated by the govts australian energy regulator.
    Ur in nsw I take it ? Can understand ur frustration, should have been privatised years ago. Nsw labor botched things and doubt ofarell will be any better ….

    Corporatised managerialist-pomo-public sector and corporatist managerialist-promo-private sector are the same problem. The privatisation fixation is part of the economic rationalist (naive market economics)-corporatist-managerialist-pomo non-sense, which brings me back to the topic of this thread.

  80. nick
    March 30th, 2011 at 20:37 | #80

    Alice ,

    I’m in melbourne but more generally have an intimate knowledge of the industry. No other state has the problems nsw has.

    In relation to black saturday no that is not a fair characterisation.

  81. Alice
    March 30th, 2011 at 20:49 | #81

    @Ernestine Gross
    You mean which is why NSW Labor lost the election Ernestine -

    “Corporatised managerialist-pomo-public sector and corporatist managerialist-promo-private sector are the same problem. The privatisation fixation is part of the economic rationalist (naive market economics)-corporatist-managerialist-pomo non-sense”

    I think that just means tradtional labor voters felt sold out by labor BIG TIME. so they voted to destroy (I mean destroy) the NSW Labor party and they did (they had it coming). I dont know if Barry will be any better but you back a horse who hasnt had a go when the horse you may have been riding changes direction dont you?

    The majority dont like these privatisations of essential infrastructures. Call it reform, call it vital, call it what you will…the people dont like it and frankly I beleive the common sense of the people is more intelligent than our elected respresentatives.

    I can just imagine what it was like in NSW labor. The minister who can rake in the most donations for Eddie Obeid wins all the perks of office and if there arent any perks he will invent a new committee on higher pay for you. So we pay them their salary apparently not to run the state and deliver useful infrastructure but to hawk and crawl on the husting trails for donations for their party.

    You cant do two jobs 1. run your portfolio effectively 2. run the donation trail for your party.

    Frankly that sucks. Oh I just cant stand the sight of any of them and if another one pops up (PJK, Obeid, Sartor etc) – I really will say something that the Prof will ban.

    I dont want to pay them. They dont damn well deserve it and we dont have to wonder why they have been splurging on their revolting TV ads to solicit votes. On our money.

    Ernestine – re my fixed costs for the solar pergola…Im not really one for numbers Ernestine. Thats your area of expertise and Profs, but if we leave it to private electricity companies – they would kill solar as fast as they can. They have killed solar before in other parts of the world. Its not just about costs. Its about the incentives and degree of control exercised by existing energy suppliers. That unfortunately can be contrary to our best interests.

    I still think the solar pergola is a winner in Oz!

  82. jakerman
    March 30th, 2011 at 20:51 | #82

    Ernetine from the switch site:

    The pricing information shown in the table below reflects the supplier’s current standard rates excluding any of the discounts or bonuses shown above. If you are comparing these rates to those on the back of your electricity and gas bills please ensure you use the rates in the column with no GST added. Your bill shows rates excluding GST – GST is added on the front of the bill.

    Some suppliers also include discounts in the unit prices displayed on the back of the bill whilst others calculate discounts separately and show them on the front of the bill. This is why comparing only unit prices between suppliers can be misleading and why we do all the calculations for you in the yearly cost figure shown above.

    The pricing applicable to your property is based upon the information you have provided to us and assumptions about your distribution region, meter type and meter configuration. If your new energy retailer subsequently determines that this information is incorrect or incomplete, they will advise you of any changes to your energy plan, and of your options.

  83. Ernestine Gross
    March 30th, 2011 at 20:53 | #83

    @nick

    You say you have intimate knowledge of the industry.

    Have you noticed:

    A pricing structure for electricity (and water and gas) which consists of a fixed price (supply charge) and a unit price (no problem with a step function) does not provide appropriate price signals to consumers for environmental matters such as ghg emission reduction and water savings because those who save on resources (and hence negative externalities) pay a higher fixed cost, averaged over unit consumption. The total network fixed costs should be spread as a function of unit consumption of electricity (and water and gas).

    I had a look at the financials of Envestra and found that retail consumers’ (households) contribution to profits is disproportionately high. I am not surprised.

    Where is the regulator?
    Where is private enterprise to set appropriate price signals?

    Professor Garnaut made an apt comment today: ‘We should be less tolerant of … bullshit’. The following catch phrases came to mind: ‘efficiency gains’, ‘dynamic efficiency’, key performance indicators, transparency and accountability, moving forward, …. ,best practice, flexibility, ……, privatisation, debt ratings ….and this brings me back to the topic.

    What do you say?

  84. jakerman
    March 30th, 2011 at 20:55 | #84

    What are the parameter values in your calculation?

    Usage (kWh/year), Cost p.a.

  85. jakerman
    March 30th, 2011 at 20:57 | #85

    Usage is base on mean for 3 bed house with 3 people. Cost is bases on plans for the CBD post codes.

  86. Ernestine Gross
    March 30th, 2011 at 21:04 | #86

    @jakerman

    Text does not help here. One needs to have parameter values (ie numbers). I take it your numbers in your post #1, page 2, are not reproducable.

  87. March 30th, 2011 at 21:07 | #87

    Pr Q said:

    As I said at the outset, it wouldn’t be possible for one person to do this alone. While I find it hard to attribute any real agency to Iemma, he and/or the Sussex street machine that nominated him to the Premiership could have stopped Costa if they wanted to.

    I would not be too hard on the shadowy “Sussex Street” push. John Robertson (Unions Australia) did much good work to defeat Work Choices and block the privatisation push from Egan, Costa & Roozendaal What a gruesome trio picked to run the finances one Australia’s second largest company.

    Surely substantial debit should go to Eddie Obeid, the “prominent businessman” behind so much of NSW ALP’s branch-stacking, faction-fighting and patronage-distributing. Frank Sator does a good number on him in today’s SMH.

    A dishonorable mention to Graeme Richardson, whose initial worthy-enough Machiavellian persona rapidly degenerated into a politics-as-usual power technician. Too much time spent rubbing shoulders with Rivkin, Packer, Jones, Laws & Singo et al.

    But the bogey prize goes to the majority of the citizens of Sydney who were happy to vote for, or at least put up with, this Mob for 16 straight years. “Sin-dney” was born with Original Sin and can never really erase the stain of its origins. The rackets change, but the siren song remains the same.

    They got what was coming to them, good & hard.

  88. Ernestine Gross
    March 30th, 2011 at 21:12 | #88

    @jakerman

    Here we are. Thank you for confirming that the switchsite is based on a lot of assumptions. As such this web-site is likely to mislead a lot of users. It is as useless as the School web-site for ‘consumer choice’ purposes.

  89. SJ
    March 30th, 2011 at 21:31 | #89

    Ernestine:

    Text does not help here. One needs to have parameter values (ie numbers). I take it your numbers in your post #1, page 2, are not reproducable.

    Jakerman’s results are reproducible. The required parameters are bolded.

    Postcode: 2000 for NSW, 3000 for Vic, etc.

    Are you moving into this property? Yes

    What would you like to compare? Electricity only

    Would you like us to estimate how much energy you use? Yes

    How many people live in your home? 3

    How many bedrooms in your home? 3

    What type of property is it? House

    Show me results for: All plans

    Then, on the reults page, divide “est. cost p.a.” by “peak usage”.

  90. Ernestine Gross
    March 30th, 2011 at 22:14 | #90

    @SJ

    You are not reproducing the price data given by jakerman @1, page 2 by an independent method (‘reproducable’), using actual data. You are providing one hypothetical example of cost estimates, using the site switchsite.

  91. SJ
    March 30th, 2011 at 22:16 | #91

    Here are my results from applying jakerman’s method.

    Adelaide:

    Cost p.a. – $2281
    Usage p.a. – 8072 kWh
    Unit cost – $0.283/kWh

    Melbourne:

    Cost p.a. – $1864
    Usage p.a. – 7819 kWh
    Unit cost – $0.238/kWh

    Sydney:

    Cost p.a. – $2291
    Usage p.a. – 9789 kWh
    Unit cost – $0.234/kWh

    Brisbane:

    Cost p.a. – $2263
    Usage p.a. – 10137 kWh
    Unit cost – $0.223/kWh

  92. SJ
    March 30th, 2011 at 22:26 | #92

    Ernestine, you’re fudging the definition of “reproducuble”. I repeated jakerman’s experiment, and got the same results. That’s what “reproducible” means.

    To get any further, you are going to have to point out what’s wrong with the way switchwise does its estimates, or find some conflicting data.

  93. March 31st, 2011 at 05:49 | #93

    Brilliant take-down of the NSW ALP “machine” power without glory by Costello in yesterday’s SMH.

    Money quotes:

    NSW Labor made Parliament look like the household in TV reality show Big Brother. Over 16 years it delivered a whole generation of misfits and unworthies into positions as staffers, into Parliament, and eventually into ministerial office.

    One former minister in the NSW government went to prison for under-age sex, one resigned after being filmed visiting a gay sex club, one resigned after visiting adult websites, and one resigned after some crude party antics at Parliament House.

    As the public looked on with horror, real reality provided a set of contestants more vulgar than anything the TV networks could dream up. For all its power and influence deciding who could and who could not enter Parliament, the NSW Labor machine never bothered to find somebody who could administer a government or run a budget. That appeared to be the least of their concerns.

    Costello’s scathing articles are a treat and stand head-and-shoulders above the ocean of Left-liberal rice pudding served up daily by most Fairfax metros. And his reputation as a v.capable Treasurer continues to grow in luminescence given the appalling debt traps other less prudent Treasury’s have fallen into, right round the world.

    What stand’s out is Costello’s essential decency as a human being, a loyal colleague who never once tried to back-stab his boss and an all-round nice guy. Really, the L/NP should bring back Costello & Turnbull to run their show and restore some dignity to the L/NP before Abbott turns it into a circus.

  94. rog
    March 31st, 2011 at 07:38 | #94

    Costello should be careful about reporting what is essentially gossip.

  95. Alice
    March 31st, 2011 at 08:14 | #95

    @Jack Strocchi
    Jack says “What stand’s out is Costello’s essential decency as a human being”

    No Jack it doesnt.

    Costello is best remembered for his contributions to the despised workchoices and of course Iraq. His brother, on the other hand does stand out for his essential decency as a human being. Costello stands out for being a politician and not the most energetic one we have ever had.

  96. jakerman
    March 31st, 2011 at 08:17 | #96

    Thanks for doing that for me SJ.

    @SJ

  97. jakerman
    March 31st, 2011 at 08:20 | #97

    Ernestine Gross :
    @jakerman
    Here we are. Thank you for confirming that the switchsite is based on a lot of assumptions. As such this web-site is likely to mislead a lot of users. It is as useless as the School web-site for ‘consumer choice’ purposes.

    Assumptions that are checked in a feedback loop by providers.

    Please demonstrate how you believe the site will “mislead a lot of users”.

  98. Christopher Dobbie
    March 31st, 2011 at 08:23 | #98

    @Jack Strocchi

    It was Costello’s signature that sold 167 tonnes of Australia’s Gold reserve wasn’t it?!

  99. Alice
    March 31st, 2011 at 08:33 | #99

    The disgraceful rantings and bickerings continue

    Obeids reply to Sartor

    http://images.smh.com.au/file/2011/03/30/2260409/fixed-3301430-0001.pdf

    Do any of these cretins realise WE DONT CARE? Obeid says “it was electricity prices” that did it.

    No – it was much more than that. It was the disgusting behaviour of the internal bickerings of an extremely unprofessional lot of elected representatives. It was their singularly “greasy pole” ambitions. It was their private proiteering on publicly funded pays. Obeid freely admits it – he says “no-one was better looked after than you Frank” referring to his pay for 7 or 8 years.

    Well we paid that money. Even in this letter by Obeid, the sense of personal entitlement to high pays and rewards that came with their greasy pole ambitions is frankly, disgustuing and sickening.

    They dont even know, let alone care, that all their faults are on display. Its worse than underbelly and you could make a TV series out of it.

    http://images.smh.com.au/file/2011/03/30/2260409/fixed-3301430-0001.pdf

  100. Ernestine Gross
    March 31st, 2011 at 08:49 | #100

    SJ and jakerman,

    SJ, you have gone through the trouble of illustrating
    a) jakerman’s unit electricity price data @1,page 2 is false (because you have ‘reproduced’ the his unit price data for different quantities!)
    b) my statement @13, page 2 regarding underlying assumptions in the switchsite program is corroborated.

    So, I am not “fudging” the meaning of reproducable.

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