Coincidently, while we were busy chiding the state government yesterday for its mega-willy-nilly privatisation program, the NSW Auditor-General, Margaret Crawford, issued a report which was critical of the $16 billion sale of Ausgrid.
In the interests of fairness then, we should say yes, there is somebody watching. Crawford said the “evidence and arguments” that convinced the government of the unique benefits of the Ausgrid proposal “were not compelling.”
“The evidence did not show beyond doubt that no other proponent could have put in a viable bid or that there was no other way to conclude the lease transaction.”
Notwithstanding this report from the Auditor General, the point made in the following story stands. A full independent reckoning of all privatisations is long overdue.
Michael West established michaelwest.com.au to focus on journalism of high public interest, particularly the rising power of corporations over democracy. Formerly a journalist and editor at Fairfax newspapers and a columnist at News Corp, West was appointed Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Sydney’s School of Social and Political Sciences. You can follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelWestBiz.