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Making public utilities really public



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JULIAN BEALE, M.H.R. Federal Member for Bruce Shadow Minister for Privatisation

M E D IA R E L E A S E

June 5, 1991

MAKING PUBLIC UTILITIES RKAT.T.Y ΡΠΗΤ.ΤΓ,

Governments have the responsibility of making public utilities really public, the Federal Member for Bruce and Shadow Minister for Privatisation, Julian Beale, said today.

He was speaking at the Water Resources Industry Conference in Sydney.

Public utilities have been controlled by Executive Government, non-elected senior public servants and public sector unions.

Corporatisation and privatisation can make them more responsive to public needs, more price conscious, more efficient and more innovative.

In normal commercial practice it is the consumer that forces efficiency and price priorities on the supplier of goods and services.

In Government services the interests of the bureaucracy, management and unions take over.

Accordingly, you finish up with huge over staffing problems at Qantas, all sorts of industrial lurks and perks at Telecom and the tradition of "nick off" days in the railways.

The public does not own bureaucracies and their enterprises in any real sense, because the normal laws of the market are rarely allowed to operate. Good service is a favour rather than a

social and commercial necessity.

Therefore, privatisation is a form of returning property to the people - whether it is in the form of buy out by staff, or an

issuing of shares on the stock exchange, or even some combination of both.

P17/91

COMMONWEALTH PA R LIA M EN TA R Y L IB R A R Y M iC A H

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