Perils of Public Ownership

An Address by Alan Moran, Director, Deregulation Unit, Institute of Public Affairs
to the Energy Market Regulation Conference,
Melbourne 1 December 1999

Summary

Those State governments that have not privatised their energy businesses are chalking up considerable losses as a result of mismanagement and political intervention in commercial matters. These losses come on top of the implicit losses to taxpayers where the government owns assets that could be sold to retire debt and thus allow lower taxes.

The privatised electricity industry in Victoria has outperformed other parts of the industry across Australia. In terms of reliability of supply and productivity the privatised Victorian firms have easily outperformed other suppliers both in generation and in local distribution.

The reasons for this are intrinsic in the improved consumer and profit focus of private businesses.


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