17 September 2008
Voters in Saturday’s council elections have sent a strong message to Labor to drop their plans to privatise NSW electricity retailers, Newcastle Greens Lord Mayoral and Ward 1 candidate Michael Osborne said today.
“So far, Labor’s response to the slump in its primary vote around NSW has been to apologise for its general performance, but they will be missing the point if they don’t realise that much of the voter discontent was specifically directed at Labor’s power privatisation plan.
“Well before the election, The Greens said that we saw the council poll as a referendum on privatisation. The verdict on this referendum is now in, and the message from voters should be clear to Labor to abandon the Iemma / Costa privatisation plan.
“If Mr Rees really wants to cleanse Labor, he will need to show some leadership on this matter.
“He’s made a good start by getting rid of the most divisive figures in the Iemma / Costa era (Michael Costa, and Frank Sartor), but he also needs to make substantial policy changes, in areas such as power privatisation and climate change policy.
“If Mr Rees dropped the Iemma / Costa privatisation plan, he would have the backing of his own party conference (which voted overwhelmingly against power privatisation), and would demonstrate to the people of NSW that he was prepared to move away from the Iemma / Costa era and its failed and unpopular policies.”
“If he doesn’t, Labor can expect another drubbing when NSW voters go to the ballot box in the next federal and state elections.”
For further information or comment, contact Michael Osborne on 0439 442 984.