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Stateline (NSW) -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) Thanks, Graham. Recapping

tonight's top stories - the Opposition Leader has won a

commitment from the Premier for

all election promises to be

independently costed ahead of

next year's poll. Barnaby Joyce

could be heading for more

disagreements with Tony Abbott

when he takes up his new job as

the Opposition's water spokesman and the Pope has

spokesman and the Pope has been

accused of fail ing to take

action when he was a cardinal

against an American priest

suspected of molesting up to

200 boys. That is ABC News for

for Stateline with Quentin this Friday. Stay with us now

Dempster. Goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI

This Program Is Captioned

Live. This week, survival in

the electricity industry. The

challenges that the sector face

at the moment are greater than

ever in history. Surviving the

Great Depression and the great

survivor of the taxi industry

facing some questions. Well,

the whole system's discouraging

in the fact it bears no

relationship with costs.

Welcome to Stateline NSW, I'm

Quentin Dempster. All NSW

electricity consumers domestic,

commercial and industrial are now preparing for the big whack, regulated electricity

price increases of 20 to 40%

over the next three years. If

the Rudd Government was to

introduce its emissions trading or Carbon Pollution Reduction

Scheme the independent pricing

and regulatory tribunal has

warned the price increase from

2011 would be from 46 to 64%.

The regulated price increase

will start before the Keneally

Government signs contract for

the sale of the output of all

its electricity generators, the

so-called gen trader model.

Those contracts are expected to

be signed by the end of the

year but with a greatly

diminished expectation that the

State will get anywhere near

the tens of billions of dollars the industry was once worth.

Stateline's been looking at the

uncertainty now plaguing the

power industry at a time when

neither Australia nor the

United States has been able to

introduce a cap-and-trade

market mechanism to put a price

on carbon. Regulated

on carbon. Regulated

electricity prices are on the

way up. IPART has confirmed

from 1 July this year average

prices will increase by around

7% for Integral Energy

customers, 10% for Energy

Australia customers and 13% for

Country Energy customers. Over

the three years to June 2013,

average prices will increase by

a cumulative

a cumulative total of 20% for

Integral Energy, 36% for Energy

Australia and 42% for Country

Energy. That's just to keep up

with distribution and peak load

upgrades and operating costs,

saving the planet from carbon

dioxide pollution will come at

a much greater cost for NSW consumers. Here's what IPART

has said.

The challenges that the

sector face at the moment are

greater than ever in history.

The sector itself needs to

spend about $100 billion to

transition from a coal-fired

industry to a lower emissions

industry with a lot more gas,

wind and other renewables. At a

University of Sydney sympos ium

this week, the future of the

power industry was discussed

behind closed doors. Outside

though, Morgan Stanley, head of

investment banking Richard

Wagner, was prepared to give

Stateline this insight. The

capital markets are nervous

about the generation sector,

the experience to date in this

country has not been great. If

you look at the cloud that's

been created through the CPRS

debate last year, clearly capital markets are on notice

and nervous about the state of

the existing participants in

the industry. And all this

uncertainty at a time when the

Keneally Government is trying

to sell the too the private

sector the entire output of the State-owned electricity genit's

a Delta, Eraring and Macquarie

generation. After the

unceremonious departure of Joe

Tripodi from Cabinet last year, Treasurer Roozendaal rOz has

carriage of the sale. Mr Roozendaal said last month the

field State has attracted a strong

field of qualified and capable

domestic and international

bidders, due diligence was

under way and contracts should

be signed by the end of the

year. In 1997 when Bob Carr and

Michael Egan tried to

privatise, the State-owned coal

industry was $35 billion, based

on the Victorian industry at

the time. In 2007, when Morris Iemma and Michael Costa tried

it, the value had dropped to 10

billion to $15 billion, that

was without the poles and wires

which were to stay in public

ownership. Now 2010, as Premier

Kristina Keneally and Treasurer

Roozendaal try the more limited

gen trader model, insiders say

it's worth only $6 billion or

less. If gen trader contract

are signed we will lose the

flexibility to make the

flexibility to make the

transition. We will be stuck

with selling coal-fired output

for another 25 years. That's a

long time in the time scales of

greenhouse responses. We will

be stuck back in the coal age

for another 25 years. We could

generate lots of jobs, a much

stronger economy by using

public ownership to make the

transition now. Morgan

it would Stanley's Richard Wagner says

it would make sense for the

current electricity generators

to manage their own low carbon

transitions. It would

certainly be easier for a Government-owned sector in

control of a great deal of

generation to make a transition

but clearly NSW has a dated

policy of selling those assets

and I think that boat's already

Greens energy sailing. In another twist,

Greens energy spokesman John

Kaye MLC has discovered a

recent Government application

to the ACCC to exempt gen

traders from the anti-cartel

provisions of the Trade

Practices Act by establishing a so-called co-insurance scheme

so gen traders can share

capacity from other gen traders

when they are struggling to

meet their contracted

demand. if you're looking for

evidence the gen trader model

is ludicrous, you need look no

further than the ACCC's web

page where we found the

application from NSW Treasurer

Eric Roozendaal to the ACCC to

allow the gen traders to set up

a cartel. Treasurer Roozendaal

was una-available for an

interview but denied in an email to Stateline that he was

trying to set up a gen trader

cartel in order to maximise the return to the

return to the State.

Co-insurance was a smart

solution, he said, to better manage electricity supply from

the generators to the gen

the generators to the gen

traders. Yes, this is about

those few period of the year

where the pull prices go up but

those are the most important

periods of the year. That's

when competition is really

determined. It is very

important we have real

competition happening at high

price periods. The ACCC has

yet to rule on the

yet to rule on the exemption.

The over-riding uncertainty in

all this of course is

Australia's transition to a low

carbon economy through the Rudd

Government's still unimplement ed Carbon Pollution Reduction

Scheme or other lower carbon

measures. Outside the power

symposium, Trevor St Baker,

chairman of the growing private

gas power generator ERM Power

made a plea to the Federal

Government to change policy

course from e mission s trading

or cap-and-trade carbon pricing

to more practical good

immediate carbon abatement

incentives. Over the last five

years Mr St Baker's built five

power stations. Gas-fired

generation is approximately half the greenhouse gas

emissions of coal-fired

generation. It's about 40% of

generation. It's about 40% of

the emissions of brown

coal-fired generation and so

for all new generation it's the

immediate - it's ream really

the only immediate fuel and

technology that can deliver greenhouse abatement better

than coal apart from renewables. Professor Jeff

Garrett from the University of Sydney believes cap and trade

will be delayed in the United

States for some time because of

States for some time because of

its struggling economy. Cap

and trade might not be quite

dead in the US but it's at best

on life support I think it's

fair to say. The problem with

cap and trade in the short-term

is it looks like it's going to

cost money and cost jobs and I

think that that's a one-two

punch that's impossible to

swallow in American politics at

the moment. While the recent

Copenhagen climate summit did

not produce legally binding

greenhouse gas reduction targets, it did

targets, it did reach agreement

on country by country

reductions. Oxford university's

Cameron Hepburn, co-edter of

the economics of climate change

also says Government should now

look at the most practical incentive measures responsible to start to reduce greenhouse

gas emissions. Cap and trade's

taken a bit of a knock. If you

rule out emissions trading, what you

what you can do youed to Too

incentivise the good stuff and

disincent vedz the bad stuff so

you can tax emissions, a carbon

tax is one option or you can

put in place some kind of

subsidy for clean energy and

for doing the right thing.

That subsidy can take several

forms of incentive. It can take

the form of a tax break or

direct grant or payments or concessional

concessional loans or what have

you, some kind of market

commitment. Treasurer

Roozendaal, the NSW Government,

its gen trader bidders and

consumers already facing a big

whack in electricity price s

now await the next move from

the Rudd Government. Over to

you, Prime Minister. In the 1930s during the Great

Depression, one in three Australian

Australian bread winners was

unemployed. It was a time of

great hardship and one that

makes the current global

financial crisis pale by comparison. This weekend a new

exhibition called 'Skint:

Making Do in the Great

Depression' opens at the Museum

of Sydney. The exhibition

features photographs and items

from the time as well as the

heart-breaking stories of

Sydneysiders who lived through

that harrowing decade. Sharon

that harrowing decade. Sharon

O'Neill had preview. It was a

pretty lousy period to be

growing up. I was out of work

for six months. I've been

hungry many a time. I had to

go around and knock on back

doors and say to the people, "I

haven't had nothing to eat for

two or three days." This is really the first exhibition

that explores the history of

that explores the history of Sydney, of Sydney's experience

of the Great Depression. This

was a really tough time for

families. We had the highest

unemployment levels, one in

three bread winners were

unemployed. So it was just

generally a really, really

tough time for families. When

a job was announced there would

be 50 to 100

be 50 to 100 people going

along, queues wanting to be the

lucky one to be picked. At the

time the Harbour Bridge was

being built, in '29, '30, '31,

'32 era. Everyone expected we'd

get a job helping on the

Harbour Bridge but it didn't eventuate. In those days of

wide unemployment, thousands

ofman on the waterfront

battling to make an uncertain living were at

living were at the murszy of

the ship owner. When we

entered into this economic crisis back in the great

depression, a lot less ships

were coming in to the Hungry

Mile, the too the wharve. A lot

of men who were unemployed who

relied on that work had to walk

the Hungry Mile in search of

work on a daily basis. I

remember going to the Hungry

Mile with my dad looking for

work. He used to put me

work. He used to put me on his

sholeders to try and get a bit

of sympathy to get a day's

work. There was one occasion

where there was absolutely no

money in our house and no food

and I can remember my parents

being in tears about it and me

being the elder one I got out

of bed to find out what was

going on and they said there

was no money. I said, "I've got

some money in my money box." We

emptied that out and

emptied that out and there was

enough to buy half a loaf of

bread. I remember that one

particularly. I never heard my

parents crying and they were

really desperate about not

having food.

A lot of children, a lot of

the bread and dripping kids who

are now adult

are now adult s who we've

interviewed for for the film,

are now seeing how hard it was

for their parents and just the

despair their parents must have

felt by not being able to put

food on the table, not being

able to get milk for the baby,

not being able to clothe your

children. It was very, very

heart-breaking. When I was

five or six or seven, mum would

call my sister and myself for

the evening meal and there

would be two places set at the

table and we would have a bowl

of - a slice of bread with a

little bit of sugar on it and

milk.And I can often remember

saying to mum, "Where's yours

and dad's? Why aren't

and dad's? Why aren't you

sitting down and eating it with

us?" And mum would always say, "Dad wanted to have his later

on and I'll have mine with

him." With food coupons you

could buy meat, bread, butter,

milk and rabbits. We always had

bread and dripping. I myself

enjoyed it. I don't think the rest of

rest of the family did.

What are these? These are

some great items from the

National Museum of Australia.

This one's a cake tin made out

a kerosene tin. People were

incredibly resourceful during

the Great Depression. It was also

also a time of great resourcefulness and resilience

and tats what we've tried to do

with this exhibition is try

some of that creativity and

ingenuity that people had

during that time.

We sort of think of recycling

as this new phenomenon that

we've all just sort of grabbed

hold of but really recycling in

the 1930s Depression was

the 1930s Depression was a

necessity. You had to do that

in order to get by and save as

much money as possible. Well,

I think me first real pair of

sues I would have been about 11

or 12 of age but they were only

for special occasions and

before you knew it they were

too small for you and then

someone else got them. There

was no such thing in my early

schooling days of a uniform. We

had whatever you had. If you

had a shirt and trousers you

were doing pretty well so

thatter what you went to school

in. I remember my father

getting dressed. He had a big

overcoat on to hide the hole in

his pants. That's a true

saying. If a man' gut a coat on

he can't take it off, he's got

holds out of his pan. A lot of

people we spoke to talk about

going to neighbours' places for

sing-alongs. They Bartered food

or furniture or what have you

with their next-door neighbour.

Everyone in the street was going through the same

experience you were going

through so I suppose that

brought people closer

together. We'd have a

sing-song of a night because

you never had any radio or gramophones. You'd

gramophones. You'd have to make

your own music. That community

scene was a very important

factor. My father played the

piano and mum sang and we all

sang with them. It really a

brought the people together and

they felt - they had a moment

of enjoyment and happiness. We

had nothing. My mother and

father were very, very

principal people, you know.

They were honest and I think

myself that I learned two very

important things and that was

frinsple and loyalty. -

principle and loyalty. If the

younger people today could only

realise just how much trouble

and strife not their parent I don't suppose but their grand

parent went through to get them

where they are they'd

appreciate more what they get.

I think unless you've lived

through a time like that I

don't think you can really ever

understand the real hardships

but hopefully what we do in

this exhibition is just bring

some of that to light, give

people a taste of what it was

like to live through the Great

Depression, the good and the bad.

The State's taxi industry is

now under investigation by

three authorities, an Upper

House inquiry and an Australian competition competition commission court

case and Independent Pricing

and Regulatory Tribunal review.

There have been consistent

complaint that the industry is

anti-competitive and dominated

by one company with

by one company with monopolistic tendencies the

publicly listed CabCharge. That

company was founded in 1976 by

Reg Kermode, an Australian

business success story. The

octogenarian is still the

chairman and CEO. IPART was

asked by Reesresis to

investigate the protection of

consumers from monopoly powers

in terms of pricing and

standards of service. The Upper

standards of service. The Upper

House inquiry has asked Reg

Kermode to appear at public

sittings next Tuesday. Sarah

Dingle has been looking at some

of the questions the taxi

tycoon is likely to be asked.

Reg Kermode' company owns a

fleet of taxibeds s comprising

thousands of cabs but it's this

system which has maim him

money, the taxi EFTPOS

money, the taxi EFTPOS system.

That charging system has earned

him a nickname. Mr Kermode has

been dubbed Mr 10%. What's the

flag-fall there? 3.20. That's

the start-off. Then it

calculate s by time and by distance. As our cabby Suukhi

Sandhu knows, calculating a

taxi fare is a complicated business. At the start of the

trip there's a flag-fall of

3.20 in urban areas or 3.70 in

the regions. Distance charges

are 1.98 per kilometre but that

changes after the first 12

kilometres. Waiting time

charges ally when your taxi is

travelling less than 26 km/h,

there's also a booking fee up

to 2.10 and a nighttime

surcharge of 20% for trips

between 10pm and 6am which in

the country also applies on

Sundays and public holidays. If

you're in Sydney you also pay

tolls and on top of all that,

if you pay using Mr Kermode's

CabCharge card or even one of

your own credit cards, the CabCharge system will charge

you an extra 10% of the total,

the fare plus the tolls.

the fare plus the tolls. The

whole system is: In the sense

it barsz no relationship to

costs. Sydney university

economist Peter Abelson says

the State's taxi industry is highly uncompetitive.

Certainly in NSW and Sydney,

basically all the operators

have to tie up to a network,

that's a legal requirement, and

the networks are

the networks are fundamentally

controlled by CabCharge or its CCN communications is the

actual name of the network.

They control 60% of the cabs in

Sydney and they have very close

ties to Premiere and Legion to

90% of the industries. So how

much is that 10% earning

CabCharge every year? In

Sydney alone, the normal

Sydney alone, the normal

assumption is about 50% of taxi

trips are paid by credit and

the average trip is about $22

so that's $2 on about 30

million trips so in Sydney

alone CabCharge will be getting

$60 million in revenue and the

costs must be a fraction of

that. Are passengers angry

when they find out? Yes,

when they find out? Yes, they

do get very angry sometimes ,

some of them. Some say, "Why

didn't you warn me?" But, you

know, like, we try to warn

people but we think - who are

not from here but we just

assume that everyone has been

living in Sydney just knows

about the 10% surcharge. You

don't see any of that 10%, do

you? No y don't. It goes all

to CabCharge. CabCharge also

owns and operates cabs, one of

CabCharge's companies is Taxis

Combined Service, TCS, which

operates the largest float in

Australia. Mr Sandhu's taxi today isn't

today isn't a TCS cab. It's a

wheelchair taxi from a

different network. Despite

this, TCS still earns money

from his work via the

wheelchair cab booking meter.

Does TCS get money for nat

some Res, they get radio fees

which is, I think, nearly $200

a month. An operator or taxi

driver should be allowed to

driver should be allowed to

have their own communications

equipment. There are numerous

IT companies that can supply

that and the requirement that

it has to be supplied by one or

two networks is highly

anti-competitive. The

competition commission is currently taking legal action

against CabCharge for anti-competitive behaviour and

the State's independent pricing

and regulatory tribunal is reviewing whether

reviewing whether NSW taxi

customers need to be protected

from monopoly powers. Those

findings and the report of the

Upper House inquiry into the

taxi industry are all set to be

delivered in June. If he

appears at the NSW Upper House inquiry, Mr Kermode is likely

to be asked a number of

questions. What customers would

probably like to know is how do you justify a

you justify a 10% surcharge for all CabCharge and credit card

fares and wouldn't the industry

benefit from the issuing of

more taxi licences and a bit

more competition? The drivers

have questions for Mr Kermode

as well. What would you ask

the head of CabCharge if you

could? Just bring all these

fee s as well so

fee s as well so it's um...or

cut them all together. I think

they've already made enough

money and, um, you know, I'm

quite sure these machines have

paid themselves off hundreds of

sometimes over. Do you think

it's a monopoly? It definitely

is. On the receipt it's

79.20, the fee including

79.20, the fee including the

toll charges and that what I've

input and there's a service fee

?7.92 and GST on service fee 79

cent so tats the total. We've

got the 10% there which is on

top of not just the fare but

the tolls as well? Yes. So it

end up being almost 10 bucks

end up being almost 10 bucks more? That's right. Mr Kermode

is due to appear at the NSW

Upper House inquiry next

Wednesday. Stateline sought an

interview with Mr Kermode but he declined.

Now some regional news, Helen Tzarimas with some short

stories from around the State. In

In the Hunter, the Merriwa Progress Association is

fighting a proposal to replace

some ambulance paramedics with

volunteers. The association

says the Ambulance Service

wants to trial a system under

which ambulances would be

staffed with only one qualified

paramedic and a volunteer

driver and it warns that if the

scheme is implemented in the

Hunter it could happen across the State. Down

the State. Down alt botha, the

volunteer rescue - down at Bega

the volunteer rescue

association has gone green. Its

headquarters is running

entirely on renewable energy. A

12-panel solar system was

switched on this week. The

panel came from the Federal Environment Department. At

Booligal they reckon they're

fighting the biggest locust

cluster they've ever seench one farmer says

farmer says he spent days

spraying the pests. The State

could be facing the biggest

locust plague since 2004. Two

south coast astronomers have

had a good week. Year 11

student at Ulludulla High,

Grace Sadler and Peta

Jansma-Smith, won a telescope

and $4,000 after they entered a scholarship competition. The

school's planning to have an

overnight physics class to try

out the new equipment.

That's us for this week. Next Friday being Good Friday

there's a special edition of

Touch s in this time slot. The

'7.30 Report' will be back on

Monday. Bye-bye.

Monday. Bye-bye. - there's a

special edition of Compess in

this time slot. Closed Captions by CSI

Obvious lay the lady who

broke down in tears with Ms

Keneally so pleased about the

My Zone fee did want live in

Gosford where they're paying

$19 extra. I am about change.

Are I trust people, Simon. The

hard decisions, the tough

decisions and smart decisions

I've taken since I've come to

Government. As we come out of

the global financial crisis,

NSW is now back in front. I

trust people and I know that

people of this State want the opportunity to change NSW Hi, I'm Andy Muirhead. Have you ever used one of these before? Well, in a way, I bet you have. What is it? All will be revealed tonight on Collectors.

Probably used for warming things. Pot of some sort. A mould or something. It's a cooking utensil? A spittoon? For a fire or something? Like, put some hot coals in there? THEME MUSIC 'Tonight Claudia puts you on the silver screen...' 'It's an assault on the senses.' '..we dig some dirt on designer Clarice Cliff...' She took British pottery into a whole new range of shape and colour. '..a totally disposable collection...' My serviette collection reminds me of where I've been in my life.