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Issue #1903      February 17, 2020

Letter

Providing essential services

Sydney is mopping up after heavy rains at the weekend. Friends are exchanging information about whose roof leaked or not, what happened to backyards – the usual stuff. What is not usual and causes lots of anger is the inability of electricity companies to cope with breakdowns.

Some people are talking about calling in the army to help with removing trees from power lines. Many others point out that electricity privatisation (thank you, Mr Baird) is the real problem. Thousands of people were sacked from the service. We had the same problem with cutting the number of rangers – recent fires required a super-human effort to deal with.

Privatised electricity companies are there for profit. A state’s responsibility is to provide essential services to the people. Providing electricity is one of them. Leaving thousands of people without electricity for days is not a sign of good governance. Yes, there may be exceptional circumstances but inability of the government to deal with such events is quite disturbing.

What if we are to deal with a medical emergency like China is doing now? No amount of empty talk of so-called political leaders can solve anything. It’s time for a more active political participation – the present “leaders” are a failure.

Mati English
Sydney

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