Thursday, 26 March 2015

NSW State Election 2015: former federal minister & current gas industry lobbyist accused of lying about privatisation

Martin Ferguson reinvented himself after leaving parliamentary politics and, became a group executive in natural resources at Kerry Stokes' Seven Group Holdings, a non-executive director of the BG Group an international exploration and LNG production company and, chair of the advisory board at Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA), a peak national body representing Australia’s oil and gas exploration and production industry.

This was Martin Ferguson in November 2014:

FORMER federal Labor energy minister Martin Ferguson has urged the party to support Premier Mike Baird’s electricity network privatisation push while also delivering a stinging rebuke to Opposition Leader John Robertson, who he said was stuck in the 1930s.
The comments came as Mr Ferguson compared the proposed long-term lease of 49 per cent of the electricity assets to raise $20 billion for much-needed infrastructure to the reforms of the Hawke and Keating governments in selling off Qantas and the Commonwealth Bank.
In a speech to be delivered at an Infrastructure Partnerships Australia lunch today, Mr Ferguson will call on Mr Robertson — an ardent opponent of the sale who he also compared to a 1930s Labor leader — to pass through the upper house the sale of the networks, should Mr Baird, as expected, win the election next March. [Martin Ferguson, Repowering NSW]

While this is Martin Ferguson today..........

Electrical Trades Union of Australia media release 24 March 2014:

Martin Ferguson caught on a lie with claim his position on privatisation is the same as during his political career.

Former Federal Energy Minister Martin Ferguson has been caught lying to The Australian, after reportedly claiming that the position he held on privatisation was the same as what he had argued for throughout his political career.

Far from being a consistent position, it is a complete backflip from the speech he delivered at the launch of his parliamentary campaign which savaged privatisation, claimed the sale of power companies led to higher prices, and warned that cheap and equal access to services was best delivered by publicly owned companies.

During Mr Ferguson's speech at the launch of his campaign for the Victorian seat of Batman, in October 1995, he told the room of supporters:
“We’ve seen what the privatisation policies of the Liberals have done in this state — the education system in Victoria is reeling from the changes; the sale of the electricity companies will mean higher prices for ordinary consumers…
“Jeff Kennett’s privatisation plans hurt the battlers. And John Howard’s privatisation plans will also hurt the battlers.
“I am convinced that Telstra must remain in public hands… If our regions are to grow and compete they must be able to rely on a publicly-owned telecommunications company who will provide them cheap and equal access to the information super-highway.”

The Electrical Trades Union said Martin Ferguson had no credibility left and was simply parroting the messages of the major corporations he is now paid to represent.

“This was an Energy Minister who — between 2007 and 2013 — presided over the worst period of electricity price rises in Australian history,” ETU national secretary Allen Hicks said.

“According to the Federal Government’s own Australian Energy Regulator, national power prices increased by around 50 to 60 per cent from 2009 — under Mr Ferguson’s watch.

“Here we have one of the worst energy ministers this country has ever seen, blatantly contradicting the position he advocated to get in to parliament, all on behalf of corporate giants in the energy sector that stand to gain out of his new-found passion for privatisation.

“He has performed a backflip on this issue worthy of an Olympic gymnast.

“With Mr Ferguson’s record of failure, he simply has no credibility left when it comes to electricity privatisation or energy prices.”

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