Articles on Privatisation

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Called to account: G4S and Serco executives appear at the Public Accounts Select Committee last year. PA Wire

G4S and Serco deserve censure for treatment of asylum seekers

On Friday, the National Audit Office released a report detailing its investigation into the COMPASS housing project, a series of contracts between the Home Office and three service providers – G4S, Serco…
The public versus private debate is oversimplified, and the situation is made worse by the hybrid nature of many so-called “public” organisations. Shutterstock

A privatisation message for the Commission of Audit

The Federal Government’s Commission of Audit reports at the end of this month. Tasked with identifying where efficiency and productivity improvements may be made across all areas of Commonwealth expenditure…
A proposal to sell off Australia Post has caused controversy. AAP

Privatisation: economic nous beats partisan stoush

Australians returning from holidays to work this week were met with headlines reading: “ACCC calls for big asset sell-off”. Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chief Rod Sims had reportedly…
Is selling public infrastructure assets to fund government projects a good idea? AAP

Open for business: selling off public assets to fund infrastructure

When Tony Abbott stepped up to claim victory for the Coalition in September, he declared Australia was “under new management and once more open for business”. One hundred days on, we look at the open for…
Next stop Deutsche Bahn? Gareth Fuller/PA

Eurostar sale shows rail policy is still on the wrong track

The government’s announcement that it is to sell off its stake in Eurostar is another sign of its convoluted thinking towards railway policy. The operator of international train services from London through…
Graeme Samuel retired from the ACCC in 2011, but says the watchdog is the only real oversight the government has over businesses like Australia Post, which he says should be privatised. AAP/Andrew Taylor

Don’t expect fast reform: Graeme Samuel

Australia’s reform agenda has stalled, according to former Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chief Graeme Samuel, and we won’t see any serious reform attempts for some time. The election of…
No more reindeer? Andrew Milligan/PA

No money in post, so why was Royal Mail a good buy?

Royal Mail has been privatised. Even after Margaret Thatcher’s frenzy in the 1980s, it was one of the last UK public enterprises left; now, the coalition government has sold 52% of Royal Mail. Whereas…
Fishes’ future rests in our hands. WorldFish

Putting seas up for sale will not save the world’s fish

The oceans cover almost three-quarters of the planet’s surface, and for many people they represent the last great wilderness. But in fact the seas support many human activities, and have done for millennia…
Sparks will fly between government and the unions if Royal Mail is sold off. Andrew Milligan/PA

Unions prepare for battle over Royal Mail’s future

Union opposition to the Royal Mail sell-off comes as no surprise to any of us. Postmen and women are well known within the public sector for their militancy. But their response must be careful; both the…
RBS: Not as valuable as it used to be. David Cheskin/PA

RBS sale: bad for taxpayers, bad for banking

The UK could be about to make a multi-billion pound mistake. Plans to sell-off the 82% share of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and the 39% share of Lloyds owned by the taxpayer are gaining favour in…
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has flagged it will consider the sale of two ports: but should such assets be in private hands?

Are we selling off the family silver by privatising Australia’s ports?

Should major Australian ports be in public or private hands? This question goes to whether we are selling off vital assets for short-term financial gain and political expediency, or for commercially sound…
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman announces his government’s plan to outsource, rather than completely privatise, many public services. AAP/Dan Peled

Why Queensland didn’t need to sell the family farm

Back in July last year Queensland Premier Campbell Newman was in a very black mood. All was gloom and doom in the Sunshine State, as he warned Queensland was “on the way to being bankrupted” without tough…
There’s a strong financial case to selling Medibank Private, but politics has made privatisation an unpopular choice. AAP/ Joel Carrett

Privatising Medibank: good business hamstrung by bad politics

At first sight it is surprising that neither the government nor the opposition, both seeking budgetary savings, is proposing to sell Medibank Private. When retiring Medibank Private chairman Paul McClintock…
Electricity price rises can be traced to a number of factors. AAP Image

The real cause of electricity price rises in NSW

As the political debate around rising power prices and the carbon tax heats up, there is a renewed debate around the privatisation of electricity distribution in New South Wales. With power prices sure…
The Federal Government’s draft energy white paper outlines a future where Australia still depends on fossil fuels. AAP

Australia’s draft energy white paper misses the big picture

The release of Australia’s draft energy white paper has outlined a future where Australia continues to be largely dependent on fossil fuels, embraces uranium and expands existing deregulation and privatisation…

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