Infrastructure Australia Calls for Privatisation of Public Assets
A report issued last month by Infrastructure Australia, a statutory body established in 2008 to give policy advice to the federal government, demanded the sell-off of a vast swathe of publicly-owned infrastructure assets. These assets have an estimated value of between $195 and $219 billion, and could be sold on the stock market for between $116 and $140 billion. Their privatisation would provide a bonanza for the major banks and corporate investors, while triggering substantial job cuts and higher costs of living for working people.
Since the 1980s, under the pressures of financial deregulation and ever more closely integrated globalised production methods, Labor and Coalition governments at both the federal and state level have sold off numerous public assets. The list includes banks, telecommunication providers, airlines, airports, ports, railways and bus companies. The major freeways in most cities were constructed as partnerships with private corporations, and continue to operate as toll-roads.
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