Labor in glass house on privatisation call, say Greens

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Labor’s attempt to out the Coalition’s privatisation agenda in Newcastle today is a case of the pot calling the kettle black, according to the Greens candidate for Newcastle, John Sutton.

“Whilst voters should certainly be concerned about the Coalition’s privatisation agenda, local voters will hear the loud crash of breaking glass from today’s attempt by Labor to throw stones at the Opposition on this issue,” Mr Sutton said.

“The truth is that Labor has no credibility on privatisation, and the Labor Member for Newcastle, Jodi McKay, who was with the Premier, Kristina Kenneally, for today’s Newcastle media conference, has been – and continues to be – a strong supporter and advocate of privatisation in Newcastle.

“Ms McKay spoke out in favour of Labor’s doomed attempt to sell off the state’s electricity industry under the Iemma government in 2008, and has dutifully toed the line on the gentrader farce, Labor’s most recent electricity privatisation fiasco.

“Ms McKay is also currently leading the push for large scale privatisation of Newcastle’s beaches and coastal parks, which has drawn threats of green bans by local unions.

“The irony of Ms McKay standing beside the Premier, Kristina Kenneally, at the Stockton ferry terminal today speaking against privatisation won’t be lost on those who know that Ms McKay is currently pushing for the privatisation of public land at Stockton’s Griffith Park for a large private restaurant development right next to the Stockton ferry terminal where they held today’s press conference!

“And on the city side of the harbour, Ms McKay’s Newcastle Coastal Revitalisation Masterplan proposes commercialisation of Newcastle’s beaches and public coastal parks extending from Nobbys to Merewether,” Mr Sutton said.

“Today’s announcement by Labor is just a cynical and hypocritical election stunt that tries to play Newcastle voters for suckers,” Mr Sutton said.

“Labor’s record on privatisation, including Jodi McKay’s, speaks for itself, and they can’t expect Newcastle voters to believe that they’ve had a sudden miracle conversion on the eve of the state election,” Mr Sutton said.

“The Greens – who yesterday launched their “NSW Not For Sale” campaign – are the only parliamentary party with a consistent record opposing privatisation.”

The Greens will be holding a privatisation forum tomorrow night ((i.e., Wednesday, 9 February), at 7:30pm at the Mayfield Bowling Club. Speakers will include Greens MLC John Kaye and Newcastle Trades Hall Council Secretary Gary Kennedy. Members of the public are warmly invited.

For further information or comment, please contact John Sutton (Greens candidate for Newcastle), on 4969 2668 or 0411 154 004. John Sutton’s campaign blog is at:

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