AIG accused of doing the LNP's dirty work over energy paper

THE Australian Industry Group has been accused of doing the Liberal National Party's bidding after it renewed calls for the privatisation of the state's electricity assets.

Electrical Trades Union state secretary Peter Simpson said Queenslanders deserved to know about any meetings the lobby group had with Newman government officials about electricity privatisation, before and after the March 24 election.

"You have to question the hidden agenda when an organisation such as AIG, which supposedly represents the interests of among others Queensland small and medium businesses, many of which operate in regional and remote areas, would advocate the sale of important state owned assets into private hands," Mr Simpson said.

"Victorian and South Australian examples show prices rise, reliability is affected and jobs are lost. I wonder if the AIG members who run small or medium businesses in Queensland's regions support this privatisation push?"

Mr Simpson also accused the AIG of spreading misinformation about the Federal Government Energy White Paper.

He said the AIG was attempting to use the paper to create a wedge between it and the Federal Government.

He said Prime Minister Julia Gillard had made the government's position clear during a meeting with ETU officials and a subsequent letter.

Ms Gillard wrote in the letter: "I also note there has been a number of misconceptions and inaccurate reporting claiming that the Energy White Paper advocates the privatisation of state electricity assets and that this is the view of the Government.

"To be clear, the government has not and does not advocate for the privatisation of electricity assets. To argue that the Energy White Paper supports privatisation is wrong and is not representative of my views or the position of the Government.

"Further, with regard to specific proposals regarding privatisation of electricity assets by state governments, while these are ultimately matters for voters in these states, my Government has no intention of supporting or advocating plans for privatisation."



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