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Australia-Canada Economic Leadership Forum

November 17, 2010

So thoughts from the Australia-Canada Economic Leadership Forum being held in Sydney today and tomorrow…

Both countries avoided collapse of financial institutions during the GFC.

As a result stimulus was possible and effective.

But here’s a serious difference :  Australia’s most proximate  market is going gangbusters, Canada’s is flatlining.  That is Asia is driving world growth but America is sluggish.

Curiously, both countries have minority governments.

Delegates were genuinely impressed by the opening night address of Premier Keneally who, in talking about NSW infrastructure spending, electricity privatisation, Barangaroo and the State’s triple A rating presented as a serious state leader.

(For more information on the Forum please visit http://www.auscanforum.com/)

Canadians ask about our politics:

I was explaining to a Canadian why the State Labor Government here was widely seen to be facing massive defeat. He had been impressed by the Premier’s agenda and her confidence as a speaker. Why is her government on the defensive?

I made reference to the party conference blocking privatisation of electricity, to the unnecessary axing of Premier Iemma and premature promotion of Nathan Rees, and to the diversion from a serious transport plan to the building of a Metro. And then in outlining the so-called Ministerial scandals – some real, some beat-ups – I was reminded of how many there were and how hard they make the Premier’s task and the extent to which they explain the drop in support from around 35 per cent to 25 per cent.

“These things weren’t in the script,” Kristina is reported to have told colleagues. She deserves credit for soldiering on.

One Comment
  1. November 17, 2010 2:23 pm

    If NSW is still considering the privatization of its electricty network it should not privatize the grid other then outsourcing its management and maintenance. All EU countries who have implemented a comprehensive and workable National FIT that underpins their Green economy and CO2 reduction policies retain government ownership of their national electricity grid. All countries where the government has privatized the grid and where these policies are working effectively have put in place effectictive third party access legislation and forced full compliance and consumer disclosure as well as strenghtened all consumer privacy and protection regulation in regard to smart grid implemention. All countries that have effective CO2 policies in place have also implemented a Green / Carbon Bond investment mechanism that delivers the opportunity for community based energy generation ownership, energy efficiency susbsidies financed through taxes and levys on the coal industry and subsidies for distributed generation capacity prices through a comprehgensive National FIT that stabalizes energy price rises over time and protects the most vulnerable. NSW is currently in a very good political position to negotiate with the Utility monopolies. Privatizing the grid without adequate regulatory and legislative measures that protect the consumer would destroy this advantage for NSW. It is incumbent on NSW to retain its grid ownership. Look at what happened after the sale of Telstra. Now we are building the NBN at the same cost we sold Telstra for.

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