John Hartevelt writes at the Dom Post:
Australia’s Labor Government is weighed down by billions of dollars of debt. It has suffered a credit downgrade.
It cooks up a plan for a historically huge selldown of shares in a key piece of infrastructure, aimed at curbing debt while keeping up capital investment.
As part of the process, it offers a loyalty bonus for local retail investors who hold on to the shares for a year. A cool $5.86billion is raised from the sale.
Two years later – after struggling through the early stages of recovery from the worst natural disaster in living memory – the Government is spectacularly bundled out of office after an election campaign marked by controversy over the asset sales.
The disastrous tale of the Anna Bligh administration in Queensland has not gone unnoticed by the National Party in New Zealand.
This is all true, but a salient detail is missing, which I think is quite important.
In Queensland, the ALP did not announce their privatisation plans until after the election. In New Zealand, National announced their policy ten months before the election.
The 2009 Queensland election was in March 2009. Less than three months later they announced their privatisation plans. Of course, the electorate got angry. In fact the announcement was a mere 73 days after the election.
The article is a good read, and covers some good issues. But if you speak to people in Queensland, what most outraged them was that the Bligh Government was seen as dishonest by not announcing their plans before the election.Tags: Asset Sales, Australian Labor