Desperate NSW Government’s Latest Money-Raiser: Privatising Prisons

August 9, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: NSW News, Sydney News 

Our desperate, cash-strapped and clueless NSW State Labor government have come up with another great money-raiser: selling off prisons, to be run by private companies. NSW prison guards went on a day-long strike to protest plans to privatise Parklea prison.

I can think of no better way to increase corruption in our prison system, reduce the quality of care and completely eliminate any transparency. Privately run prisons are a disaster in the USA and they will be a disaster here.

Any private operator will have one objective – to make a profit at all costs. One can expect rehabilitation and training programs to be scaled down, if not scrapped altogether. Also, prisoners will likely be used as slave labour to undercut local businesses who have to pay their employees a proper wage. Furthermore. cases of abuse (of prisoners or guards) are likely to be covered up with a reduced public ability to investigate.

My message to our incompetent state government – learn to use money to add long-term value to our economy and infrastructure, not liquidate public assets for crappy short-term band-aid solutions.

NSW State Government – Worse than a Desperate Crack Addict?

In a predictable move, the NSW state government, led by Nathan Rees, has cancelled several major rail infrastructure projects – namely, the North West Metro and the Richmond Line duplication, which has been ‘deferred‘.

These had been promised for many years and are needed to cope with the growing population in these areas. Housing has become highly unaffordable in inner-city Sydney, so people were encouraged to move to the outer areas in the expectation that the these Government transport projects, when completed, would be able to take them to their places of employment in the inner city.

The government of course states that these projects, which they previously claimed to be ‘fully funded’, have to be abandoned due to the budget ‘black hole’ created by the financial mismanagement of the past NSW Labor governments led by Morris Iemma and Bob Carr, and the global financial crisis which has led to reduced tax revenue.

Despite having cancelled these projects, the NSW government is desperate for cold hard cash and is prepared to sell all the public assets they can at any price. The latest assets up for sale are the electricity retailers, NSW Lotteries and Waste Services NSW. These are all profitable and income-generating.

One major reason cited by the state government for refusing to borrow money for infrastructure is that they want to maintain their ‘AAA’ credit rating. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the whole purpose of having credit ratings in the first place to allow reliable borrowers to obtain loans on good terms?

Now is the perfect time for the government to spend borrowed money. NSW is in recession and the economy needs to be stimulated – capital works projects have been historically effective in these situations.

Reviving the cancelled infrastructure projects will remove bottlenecks and lead to increased taxation revenue and economic growth. As we are are now in a higher inflation environment, the net present value of future loan payments will keep falling, reducing the future costs of servicing these loans.

Furthermore, keeping those public assets will ensure that their income is retained, and this income will of course reduce the burden of loan repayments.

Sydney North-West Metro under Axe

September 11, 2008 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: NSW News, NSW Politics 

In what must be an absolute surprise, the new Premier Nathan Rees stated in an interview with the Fairfax media that he is ‘pulling back’ from the much hyped North-West metro link. in light of the ‘surprise’ $1 billion budget shortfall discovered a few days ago after the cabinet reshuffle.

NSW State Government Turned Upside Down

September 8, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: NSW News, NSW Politics 

I really have little more to add to what has been reported in the media, but to recap recent events:

Following John Watkins resignation last Thursday, Premier Morris Iemma sacked Treasurer Michael Costa following the failed power privatisation bid. Iemma then resigned, after being challenged by newcomer Nathan Rees, who was appointed the new premier of NSW.

In one of his first acts as premier, Rees appointed a new cabinet, which resulted in the dumping of the highly unpopular planning minister, Frank Sartor.

All I can add is that I could not think of a more appropriate bunch of people to get rid of.

I do wish Mr Rees luck in his new job as he still has to face some major problems. NSW is in debt with no money to spend on vital infrastructure and its economy is in recession.

An obvious first step is to convince the Federal Government to give NSW its fair share of GST revenue. It has been previously reported in the media that GST revenue raised in NSW is being used to subsidise other states. Anecdotal reports suggest that this could provide up to $2 billion extra annually to the NSW budget.

No Free Wifi for Sydney

ABC news has just informed that Morris Iemma has aborted the plan to provide free wireless internet access in the Sydney CBD and a few other areas.

I first read about this in MX in 2006, just before the election, and I knew the plan was total BS and a fake election promise to fool the naive.

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