Tonight’s (November 22) Politics in the Pub at Mullumbimby’s Courthouse Hotel features Greens senator Lee Rhiannon and retired local GP and activist/author Liz Elliott.
Ms Rhiannon told The Echo that she will be launching her new pamphlet Sold Off, Sold Out at the event.
It examines the right wing’s obsession with the privatisation – or selling off – of public assets.
Ms Rhiannon writes in the introduction that, ‘Since it came to office in 2011, the NSW coalition has sold off more than $62 billon in public assets.’
‘Over the past 30 years there has been a massive sell-off of public assets to private corporations right across Australia.
‘This privatisation binge has been indulged in by both major political parties. The evidence of opinion polls is that these sales are opposed by a majority of citizens and very often governments have paid the price at the polls.
‘Most recently the fall of the Liberal government in Western Australia has been attributed, at least in part, to its privatisation agenda.’
Examples of government sales of public infrastrucutre and institutions include the energy sector, housing, NSW Crown lands, NSW Forests, public transport, prisons, hospitals, education and human services.
Yet there are precedents for rolling back privatisation and re-nationalising, claims Greens member Hall Greenland. He says, ‘In New Zealand, the railways and ferries, privatised in 1993, were re-nationalised in 2008. Rail infrastructure was renationalised in the UK too after the failure of privatisation.’ Politics in the Pub is on November 22 at the Mullum Court House Hotel from 6.30pm.