Electricity and Poverty: Penrith and Hawkesbury Suffer

by ‘Penrith Houso’

The poorer citizens of North-Western and Western Sydney are being slugged in various ways, but two of the most insidious methods commend themselves for urgent attention

Consider electricity costs. They’ve been rising steadily ever since privatization was put in place. In theory, privatization would drive prices down. It hasn’t happened. The excuse has been that old infrastructure has to be replaced. Prices are set to soar with the tax on carbon dioxide and other carbon-based emissions – which is euphemistically known as “the carbon tax”.

The New South Wales government is responsible for our electricity supply. We are quietly confident that prices will rise well beyond any increase caused by the new tax.

Tony Pettitt, the Australia First Party lead-candiadte for Hawkesbury City, said today:

“I don’t believe in the privatization of any public utilities”.

But of course, the deed in many areas has been done and the debate should now be about getting utilities back under public ownership.

“Making energy more efficient at home”, said a press release issued for our Penrith City lead candidate Maurice Girotto, “is a nonsense. If people use less energy, the private companies, interested in profit, must put prices up.”

Only a single Energy Authority, run to efficient principles but under public ownership, can do the job of delivering power power bills.

Consider, the Housing Department slug against residents who have received ‘compensation’ for the carbon tax. As we all know, the Federal government has paid pensioners and other low income earners, compensation money (sic) for higher energy prices. The NSW Department of Housing has opted to count that money as ‘income’ and has decided to increase its tenants’ rents. This is rorting of the poor.

Our Councils can and must do a lot more to assist the disadvantaged. True, local government is not another welfare agency. But there are many things Councils can do ease buredens on the the needy. We will publish a list of these initiative proposals soon.

It should be noted that our candidates have in some cases endured a degree of hardship. Tony Pettitt reports that at age 19 years, although he had employment, he was homeless and lived in a vehicle for six months. For a few years after that, he lived in a caravan park. At least this sort of candidate gets it – and is not a Liberal ‘businessman’ or a Labor ‘lawyer’.

People on benefits and people in Housing Department accommodation should not be the targets of the economic rationalists and globalists who are now in power.

Energy bills are part of poverty in Australia. Resistance begins at a local level.