This is a comment by Nighthawk the Elder late in the thread on the David Bidstrup post. I think it deserves to be read by everyone and it probably had limited readership in the comments.
#2917672, posted on January 26, 2019 at 12:11 am
What is with this obsession over the ownership of power assets? The usual trolls are over in the comments section of the major daily’s blaming Kennett for the blackouts. And then I see Wil above as well. Is there this magical belief that somehow government ownership provides a more effective operation of the asset and would have prevented the rolling blackouts? There is almost an analogy to Orwell’s “four legs good, two legs bad”.
I’ve spent almost 35 years in the power industry, both during the SECV days and after privatisation. To say the way we operated were chalk and cheese would be an understatement. The productivity of the SECV was absolutely piss poor. You did battle with a bureaucratic bloody mind set if you tried to get anything done. Not that anyone had any idea what the real costs of any jobs were.
Rorting was rife. Staff didn’t come to work, they attended their place of employment for the purposes of being paid, just so they could then piss off to the pub or spend the afternoon playing golf. The main stores were like a personnel Bunnings, only no check outs to worry about.
Contrary to the the bullshit from leftists, the private owners pumped a lot of money into the power assets. The key difference was they expected the money to be spend prudently and not pissed up against the wall. They expected a return on investment.
The government owned SECV was a joke! Monash would have been spinning in his grave (and if we wrapped him in copper wire we could have used the generated power). If the SECV were still around, we would have been having this conversation about power shortages about 15 years ago. And we would still be waiting for a new power station all these years later.
One more argument that does not fly either is that governments would have planned for replacement power stations prior to closing an old one. Private companies also plan for replacement of their assets. (I know, it was some of the work I did). Government’s role is to create the environment to allow the private owners to undertake these replacements and then to get out of the way. Instead we have governments that actively place regulatory and bureaucratic road blocks to stifle investment. The private companies may still replace their assets, just in a more business friendly jurisdiction, such as overseas if they are a multi national.