Posts Tagged ‘Independent Mark Aldridge’

Do we have to include our name on the Census?

August 8, 2016

Do we have to include our name on the Census?


Many people are raising concerns about how the ABS will now be retaining peoples’ names, whereas previously it destroyed identifying information before analyzing the data.

Retaining identifying information that can be linked to Census records has potentially significant privacy implications. Data provided to the ABS is purported to be protected by robust secrecy provisions in the Census and Statistics Act 1905 (the Act), But what about the security of the storage of data and the potential for its misuse.

The ABS now prefers on line collection of data, this also raises a host of new privacy issues.

It may be difficult to call into question the value of the Census, as the government tell is, it provides essential information for all levels of government, to facilitate the planning of services from hospitals, transport and infrastructure and schools to homelessness services, libraries and services for migrants and refugees.

I doubt many people will see the value of the data for its intended purpose when we consider how poorly the data has been used in the past, but does the ABS even have the power to ask the public to provide their name on the Census form?

An argument can be made that the ABS has no legal authority to do so, because the Act only permits the collection of ‘statistical information’ for the purpose of the Census, and names are not, or until have not been considered ‘statistical information’.

A lawyer and law teacher recently said, “I would never suggest that anyone refuse to fill in their name on their Census form or refuse to provide it to the ABS if directed to do so”. But the question of the scope of the legal authority of the ABS is a perfect example of a statutory interpretation problem that a legal mind might like to consider.

Section 8(3) of the Act provides that for the purposes of taking the Census, the Statistician shall collect statistical information in relation to the matters prescribed [by regulations] for the purpose of this section.’

In other words, the Statistician must collect statistical information for the purposes of taking the Census.

So what does “statistical information” actually mean?

“Statistical information” is not defined in the Act, but section 12 of the Act provides that the Statistician shall compile and analyse the statistical information collected under this Act and shall publish and disseminate the results of any such compilation and analysis, or abstracts of this result.

Does this suggest that information that is “statistical information” is information that will be compiled, assembled in order to be analysed, examined in the aggregate, for the purpose of publishing and disseminating the results.

It is a unique thought that the ABS intends to compile and analyse “names” as a category of information.

Instead, names are collected to undertake a matching process between Census records and other administrative records held by government, likely to include tax, social security and education records.

According to the ABS, this is a separate statistical exercise performed after the Census has been taken, and is not part of the Census itself. Therefore, is it arguable that “names” are not “statistical information”, meaning that the Act does not authorise the collection of names.

Offences under the Act also lack definition, and what happens if your paper census goes missing, is not received or there are debates relating to a persons snswers?

It is being suggested that failing to provide your name on the Census form is an offence, so is it?

Section 14 of the Act states that a person only commits an offence if they fail to comply with a direction by an authorised officer, either orally or in writing, to fill out the Census form or to complete a specified question that is necessary to obtain any statistical information in the Census.

In other words, failing to comply with a ‘direction’ is not just the act of not filling in your name, but failing to provide the information following a direction made to you individually.

Of course, refusing to provide your name following a demand from an authorised officer carries the prospect of a penalty, because we cannot predict how a court would deal with the question.

The fact is the threat of a heavy penalty will result in some panic, with people wanting to avoid that fine, something that may become an issue, with many reports of Australians yet to receive their census and many feeling uncertain of completing it on line.

Someone who decides to challenge the demands to include their names, may have a case, because if a name is not ‘”information”, no offence would be committed by not providing it.

Reading of the legislation shows the Census is only permitted to collect statistical information. In other words, the ABS may not have the power to commence prosecution of people who do not provide their name.

Some people might even argue that the Regulations, which prescribe “name” as a category of statistical information, are ultra vires – beyond the power of the lawmaker to enact.

This argument would be that as subordinate legislation, they must be made for the purpose of the lawmaking power, and cannot be inconsistent with the Act or other legislation.

In simple, the changes to include a person’s name are inconsistent with the intent of the legislation.

It is important to note that section 15 of the Act provides that a person commits an offence if they are ‘required, requested or directed’ to fill in a census form and then knowingly make a statement or provide a reply/document that contains false or misleading information.

This provision is different from section 14, because it relates to the information you actually provide on the Census form. Giving a false or misleading name is clearly an offence, where not providing your name, may at least have a legal defence.

So to a strong degree from my amateur interpretation of the act, to offend the legislation, one must provide false and miss leading information, or ignore a request/direction to do a certain thing, by an authorised officer. Whether or not a request or demand can include your name, is open to legal debate.

So in summary, people who do not provide their name on the Census form would not face the prospect of a penalty unless they subsequently refused to follow a direction made to them by an authorised officer.

It would be up to the ABS to determine whether to refer a case for prosecution and for the Director of Public Prosecutions to consider whether to pursue a prosecution.

There are very few cases one can research to see how many people have failed to follow the direction of an authorised officer have been prosecuted, so one can imagine the issues that face the ABS in 2016, if hundreds of thousands refuse to say “Include their names”.

Ultimately, it will be up to the courts to determine the proper construction of the Act and regulations. But people who object to providing their name on the Census form have an arguable legal basis for so doing.


Mark Aldridge “community advocate”

PS; do not take this as legal advice, please see a lawyer.


Labor party in SA take an Axe to Democracy

December 1, 2013

The day the government destroyed democracy

By the Australian Alliance

 The south Australian government take to democracy with an axe, having only scraped in to government over the past few terms; the Labor party in SA push though laws to ensure they face less opposition.

New laws passed last night will limit the number of candidates on the ballot. The changes will mean only registered parties or groups with 500 nominees can lodge a preference ticket. Independent candidates will now need 250 nominees, instead of just two.


This is a massive change when you add in the fact that our electoral rolls are a mess and electors are reluctant to endure the scrutiny of the electoral commission if they dare endorse a candidate, would mean minor players would need double this amount of nominations, the major parties would need NONE.

The cost to nominate has also increased from $450 to $3,000. And the existing parties that passed these laws will be given preferential placement on of the left of the ballot paper, over independents, undermining any resemblance of fair play or democratic practice.

This massive increase in costs on top of the huge costs of trying to compete with the 2 major parties makes ones candidacy basically out of reach, more so when we add in time of work, petrol and the many other costs associated with running as a candidate.

The massive issue here that goes beyond this attack on our democratic process and the virtue of our constitution is that these very changes were sought by the very party that dared use dodgy tactics to gain power in the first place.

With the major parties also using their political connections with in local councils, to even attack vote one poster placements of minor players, it is all but game set match in their favour.

The upper house is indeed the house of review, the very place that independent voices are needed, and these recent changes replace the fact the government have wanted to abolish it for year, now they just want to make it their own rubberstamp.

 It also takes time to get the true results of an election, well for the people, and even then it is never made public, seems it is best we don’t know what happens in our Democracy.

The last SA state election was in March 2010, some of the true facts were uncovered in the court of disputed returns a few months later, but there remains little to no reporting of the facts. 

Only a year later, facts on the huge multiple voting that occurred were published in a back room article, but the tens of thousands of missing ballot papers and the fact over 77,000 missed out on their vote, because their names went missing of the electoral roll, uncovered within a couple of months of the election is seemingly not newsworthy.

The electoral commission would have been well aware of such a huge mistake, but chose not it appears to make this fact public.

It is also not worthy of exposure that the court confirmed “regardless of the conduct or count of a general election, the results cannot be invalidated, something I find atrocious, let alone the many other hidden facts, like the governments own crown solicitors arguing that our common law rights of elections no longer apply to have my case struck out, even though they bloody well do and parliament had confirmed that! 

So let’s get down to the facts and figures; 

1,093,316 people were enrolled to vote in South Australia by the latest reports, yet during the election the figure was 1,015,386. The AEC confirming that over 77,000 names went missing of the rolls, and many who did vote received fines for not voting, in fact had voted? Was this the result of the introduction of the new I-rolls or simply total mismanagement? 

“I believe the new I rolls being used for the first time, resulted in these 77,000 long term voters missing out on their vote, either way, the amount of people who missed out is unacceptable, and the results of the election should therefore be invalid”.

Multiple voting ran rife, but the figures have not been published, just as the many dead people who voted, or the many registered at addresses that no longer exist. 

For me it was the lack of information on how to vote and who was running, my how to vote website went from 50 hits a month to over 30,000 in a couple of days, the Electoral commissions web services went from 70,000 at the 2006 election to near 250,000 in 2010, coincidently the same year the how to vote booklet was no longer sent out, even though the Act itself demands the electoral commissioner ensures you are well informed.   

“No Person, government department or the media are expected in any way to inform people of their choices, not even the electoral act ensures that” 

Declared institutions were reduced, resulting in many of our most vulnerable missing out on their vote, let alone the many reports of undue influence. Some voters in Hospitals and nursing homes, reported they were asked the question “Labor or Liberal” from their room door, and the ballot filled in for them? 

Postal voting had a major increase due to the major parties sending out hundreds of thousands of postal vote applications, up near 40,000, of which over 6,500 applications were dismissed as dodgy, and over 16,500 ballot papers that were sent out simply went missing, a number far in excess of the winning margins. (25,000 applications failed or ballots went missing, enough to change the results of many seats) 

I note here the state Labor party had registered the name of the opposition leader “Isobel Redman” as a reply paid address, so as to intercept voter information, prior to the election, this it seems is acceptable practice to the Labor party officials, in the same way as dressing up as another party and deceiving voters at the polling booths.

The 2 party preferred counting, a system resulting from the structural biases of letting the 2 major parties control electoral law, resulted in 48% to Labor and 51% to Liberal, despite that fact Labor were elected, against the preference of the South Australian people. (1250 votes the winning margin)

44,100 people failed to vote, 22,807 were excused and 21,293 were fined, add these figures to the missing ballot papers, the invalid votes, the 77,000 missing names and the any other abnormalities, then consider the result votes wise now matches the electors, and something sinister has occurred. (Over 10,000 people were send enforcement orders)

“Consider these figures when we take in the fact, many attended to vote and found their names missing of the rolls, the new I-rolls, and the many reports of those who did vote, receiving letters from the electoral commission saying they did not”?

“Just a note here, the recent bi-election for Ramsay was decided on 70% of the vote, because around 30% of people entitled to vote, either did not show up, their vote was informal or more likely conduct issues arose, the media in this case again ignored the outcome and indeed any other candidates besides the Labor candidate” google and see for yourself, articles in the Ramsay election only covered the Labor candidate!

The political parties themselves handled over 58,632 postal vote applications, remembering the Labor party had the name Isobel Redmond registered as a reply paid address, so information sent to Isobel, actually ended up with in the Labor party offices, so they knew the preference of tens of thousands of voters. 

There was also a 71% increase in complaints received by the commission, plus a vast amount of complaints of an ethical nature, a clear indication, and the election strayed from what we believe to be a democratic process. 

In the legislative council ballot, near 6% of votes were informal, a massive figure even though the Electoral commission made it clear many of these people had tried to cast a valid vote, again in excess of winning margins, and many voters simply didn’t even try to cast a vote. 

Over 20.5 % of informal votes, would have been formal under optional preferential voting, consider; our chief justice Murray Gleeson, confirmed our entitlement “if change be necessary, must be made by the Freewill of an Informed electorate” interesting enough, the Act actually says such votes should be counted, but that would offend the 2 party systems? (38% in the Adelaide district alone) 

The Electoral Act clearly states “if a ballot paper is not filled in a manner required by this act, but the voters intention is clear, then the vote will count” yet the voters intention is able to be guessed by the commissioner, who the hell can guess a person’s intent beyond what they have marked?

“And yes this guess favours the 2 party system”

58,714 upper house ballot papers were informal; with get this a 2.2% Administration error?  34.6% informal votes again were confirmed as attempts to vote formally, enough votes in doubt to change the government is SA in many ways on its own. 

Total costs to us of this debacle 8.9 Million   Labor dressed up as another party, and gave out dodgy information on the day of the election to dupe voters, and this is the party leading our state, deplorable.

I took all this to court self represented to try and restore democracy, not only was my hard work ignored by our media, after I lost on a technical issue, which was later found wanting, some of the media labelled me a nut job.

This raises and question of ethics, if a journo lives in SA, one would think that such abhorrent practices would affect themselves and their family?

 For the next 2 years, I received letters from the court offering me money, even though I supposedly lost, raising another question also ignored by the media.

During the trial I was shown video that would have resulted in jail terms for many members of a particular party, but this was only offered as evidence if I could secure a trial, because the person that had it, feared reprisals.

The Outcome is simple the Labor Party won by a hand full of votes, yet informal votes massively exceeded their winning totals, dodgy postal ballot applications also far exceeded their win, missing ballot papers could have well changed the outcome, let alone a host of other major issues, even the multiple voting standing alone could have changed the result.

I was contacted by Electoral staff on a variety of issues, yet they are signed to confidential clauses, so could not come forward in public, one of those was the checking of the rolls where they found massive issues during spot checks, again this was silenced.

The Labor party were caught red handed impersonating another party to dupe voters, and their registering of the opposition leaders name as a reply paid, also allowed them to intercept voters information, statutory decelerations in the hundreds described a mired of other dodgy practices, which never made court scrutiny, therefore remaining un proven, including undue influence, misleading advertising and many other issues. 

The Electoral Commission is well aware of all these issues, and I can only assume dozens more, the list of departures from ideal and legislated conduct are huge including;

  • People being turned away from the polling booths based on the dress standards.
  • Polling booths running out of ballot papers.
  • People being denied their right to both replacement ballot papers and absentee ballots.
  • Dodgy practices outside the polling booths.
  • How to vote information and preferencing information absent from the booths.
  • The How to vote guide which used to be posted to every home was dropped.
  • Candidate access to other candidates information for Preferencing unavailable in time.
  • Previously declared institutions missed out on mobile polling.
  • People were asked to vote under others names.
  • The list is endless and I mean it

Under Common law the people have certain voting rights, yet this election was not one that was comfortable at law, it strayed so far from the legislated requirements it was not in fact a legal election, so the results should have been invalidated and a new and honest election ought to have been held, while we are at it, let’s debate reforms, so future elections are democratic.

1.   77,000 long term voters missed out on their vote (ask your friends)

2.   16,500 postal ballot papers went missing

3.   6,500 postal ballot applications were invalidated

4.   An unknown quantity of people were turned away for various reasons and many did not receive a ballot paper

5.   Many made mistakes and were refused replacement ballot papers

6.   People who did vote were fined for not voting (what happened to their votes?)

7.   58,714 upper house voters ballot papers were deemed invalid and not counted, even though most tried to cast a vote (if the information was available to assist them what would have happened to their votes and the outcome in general?)

8.   Nearly 200,000 extra on line hits seeking how to vote information, proves the electoral commissions lack of information expected under the Act, had an influence on the outcome.

  “So much for our entitlement to a free and informed vote”  

Compare the results of the election with the above figures:

1.   In the upper house count candidates were excluded by votes as low as 17 in total

2.   In the lower house seats were won by votes of around 2000 in most cases, from 167, many under 1000 votes, so the swing created by a legal and fair election, could change the whole political landscape

3.   There are well over 120,000 votes in doubt.

The state election was not a valid election by way of either the dodgy legislation or our common law right to a vote, even our constitutional entitlement was ignored well in excess of the winning margins, the State Labor party have NO right to lead this state, and the tens of thousands of voters who missed out or had their ballot papers go missing, deserve their right to a free vote!

We now see issues with missing ballot papers finally in the news, albeit minor cases, the 2013 federal election appears to have endured similar diversions from democratic practice, but I note facts and figures for most seats are now NOT BEING RELEASED to the public or the candidates!

All preference flows and final results for the federal election from south Australians federal electoral commission are not to be released, even upon request from the candidates themselves.

So our constitution is now so down trodden, that its values are extinct, to run as an independent or minor party is now out of reach, which results in the genuine voice of the people all but banned from parliament.

This ensures applications to the court of disputed returns cannot be lodged in event of irregularities.

The sad fact is this; if this conduct explained here is to remain covered up, what conduct will we expect to see during the South Australian 2014 state election?

Mark M Aldridge

Independent candidate and spokesperson for the Australian Alliance (electoral reform division)

82847482 / 0403379500

Selling Australia’s future

March 23, 2012


I have written about the sale of our farms, real-estate and water, so here is an ideal of what else is being sold off at bargain basement prices to fund election promises.

In South Australia we all know the basic list, but maybe not the huge long term costs of short sighted easy money, sought by governments who ideal of the long term future, is the term between elections.

SGIC, AIDC, TAB, Forestry, Our Ports, Public transport, TAFE, Travel centre, Jails, Torrens Island, Hospitals, electricity, State bank, Work cover, SA Gas company, ETSA, Power connectors, SA Water, Adelaide airport and many more, all sold, attempted sale with what little that is left on the agenda of supposed privatisation.

Every one of these sales, has meant we the people have to make up for the loss of profits these State owned organisations used to bring in, on top of the uncontrolled increases in the supply of essential services.

Here is a brief Federal list of privatisations, Water, Farms and Manufacturing that have been sold off, is hard to attain, for instance sales of Australian farming land received no scrutiny unless the sale exceeds 244 million, allowing the ability for whole states to be brought up by foreign investment, while no one is watching, along with it our food security.

“Here is a list of some of the privatisation deals in Australia over the past 20 years”.



Australian Industry Development Corporation: public float that raised $25 million for the Hawke Government.

NSW Investment Corporation: trade sale that raised $60 million for the Greiner Government. 


State Bank of Victoria: sold to the Commonwealth Bank for $1.3 billion after taxpayers absorbed about $1.7 billion in loan losses.

Commonwealth bank: Keating government floated the first 30% at the bargain basement price of $5.40 a share, collecting just $1.3 billion for taxpayers. (Check the values now)


Loy Yang B power station: the Kennett government picks up the Kirner Government’s tortuous privatisation process of the Loy Yang B power station and sells 49 per cent to Mission Energy for $1.3 billion with an over-priced power purchase contract under-pinning the sale price.

Portland Smelter Unit Trust: trade sale that raised $171 million for the Victorian Government with Alcoa and the Chinese Government major investors.

: trade sale to telecommunications provider Optus that raised $504 million for the Federal Government.

: trade sale that raised $665 million from British Airways with a further $1.3 billion collected in a public float two years later.

: raised $1.26 billion in a public float at $2.40 a share for the NSW Government and was then disastrously taken over by AMP before being sold to Suncorp.

State Insurance Office: one of the few assets sold by the Kirner Government in Victoria which fetched $125 million from GIO.


Heatane Gas: the bottled gas division of Victoria’s Gas & Fuel Corporation which was sold to Elgas for a big price of $129.5 million.

NSW Grain Corporation
: trade sale that raised $96 million for the NSW Liberal Government.

SAGASCO: trade sale to Boral that raised $417 million for the South Australian government, and established Boral as one of the major players in Australia’s gas industry.


Gladstone Power Station: Queensland’s biggest, was sold by the Goss government to Comalco, NRG and a group of aluminium traders. At the time it was the largest private power acquisition in the world but had the safety of a long-term power supply deal back to the government.

NSW State bank
: sold to Colonial for a net price of about $250 million in 1994 in what then Colonial CEO Paul Batchelor described privately as “the greatest bank robbery in history”. The bank was valued at $2 billion when CBA took over Colonial in 2000.

Moomba to Sydney gas pipeline: Keating government collected $500 million from the sale of the Moomba to Sydney gas pipeline to AGL with 51 per cent and Gasinvest with 49 per cent.

CSL: floated for $2.30 a share or $300 million. Now worth more than $20 billion as the original investors enjoy making 50-fold returns in 15 years.

Tabcorp: floated for $2.25 a share or $675 million. Shares are now around $12, the company is worth $6 billion and more than $10 has been returned to shareholders through dividends.

Grain Elevators Board
: trade sale to Vicgrain Operations that raised $52 million for the Kennett Government.


Collinsville power station: the Queensland Government awarded a $130 million contract to NRG and Transfield to refurbish and recommission the Collinsville coal-fired power station.

Pipelines Authority of South Australia
: Texas-based Tenneco joined with Santos to buy the Pipelines Authority of South Australia from the SA government for $304 million.

United Energy: Kansas City-based Utilicorp, AMP and NSW State Super buy Victorian electricity distributor and retailer United Energy for $1.553 billion from the Kennett Government.

GFE Resources: Kennett Government sold gas exploration division GFE Resources for $56.2 million to Cultus Petroleum. Most of the territory is now owned by Origin Energy.

Solaris Power: AGL and US company GPU pay $950 million for Solaris Power, the smallest of the five Victorian electricity distributors based in Melbourne’s western suburbs.

the largest Victorian electricity distributor covering the western half of the state, sold to US utility PacifiCorp for $2.15 billion.

Eastern Energy
: Texas Utilities pays the Victorian Government $2.08 billion for the electricity distributor covering the east of the state.

Citipower: the geographically smallest of Victoria’s five electricity distributors was bought by New Orleans-based utility Entergy for $1.57 billion.

Aerospace Technologies of Australia: trade sale to Boeing that raised $40 million for the Keating Government.

Port of Geelong
: trade sale that raised $51 million for the Kennett Government with TNT leading the purchase.

Port of Portland: trade sale to an Australian consortium that holds equal interests – 50% each holding for the Australian Infrastructure Fund and the Utilities Trust of Australia. This sale raised $30 million for the Kennett Government.

State Government Insurance Commission: trade sale to the NRMA that raised $175 million for the South Australian government.


Transurban: Kennett Government awards Transurban the contract to build own and operate the $1.3 billion City Link project connecting Melbourne’s major freeways.

Bank West: $900 million trade sale by the WA Government to British bank HBOS ahead of a public float.

Commonwealth Bank: Howard government floats remaining 51% at $10.40 a share.

Commonwealth Funds Management: trade sale that raised $63 million.

Suncorp-Metway: with the merger of 100% owned Suncorp and QIDC entities with the publicly listed Metway Bank, this gave the Queensland Government a majority shareholding of 68%. They indicated a sell-down to more than 15% but by 2000 they had relinquished all holdings through a public float. The business is now worth more than $12 billion.

Yallourn power station
: PowerGen of Britain leads a consortium including Itochu, AMP, Hastings and NSW State Super which paid $2.43 billion to the Kennett Government for the 1800mW Yallourn power station in the Latrobe Valley.

Hazelwood Power station
: Britain’s National Power and its US partners Destec and Pacific Corp paid the Kennett Government a ridiculous $2.3 billion for the 30-year old Hazelwood Power station in the Latrobe Valley.

Bank SA: the good part of the old State Bank of South Australia was sold to Advance for $720 million and now sits inside St George Bank.

Axiom Funds Management: trade sale to Deutsche Bank that raised $240 million for the Carr Government.

Forwood Products: trade sale that raised $123 million for the South Australian government.

World Trade Centre
: trade sale to a Malaysian Syndicate that raised $103 million. They on-sold it to a joint-venture Asset for $112 million.

Victorian Plantations Corp: trade sale to Hancock Victorian Plantations that raised $550 million.


Loy Yang B power station: Edison Mission Energy renegotiates long term power sale deal done with Kirner and Kennett governments and takes over a $1.1 billion liability and 100% ownership of the 1000mW Loy Yang B power station in the Latrobe Valley.

Powernet Victoria
: US utility GPU pays an excessive $2.55 billion to the Kennett Government for the monopoly electricity transmission company.

Airports: with the sale of separate long-term leasehold interests in Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth airports generating gross proceeds of $3.31 billion.

Australian National Rail
: trade sale that raised $95 million.

Brisbane Airport: trade sale that raised nearly $1.4 billion for the Howard Government.

Melbourne Airport: trade sale that raised $1.3 billion for the Howard Government with AMP, NSW State Super and BAA leading the buyout group.

Perth Airport: trade sale that raised $643 million.

: initial public float that raised $14.3 billion at the knockdown price of $3.30 a share.

State Gas Pipeline: trade sale that raised $163 million.


Adelaide Airport: sold to Parafield & Adelaide Airport Ltd for $467 million.

Darwin & Alice Springs airport
: sold to Alice Springs & Darwin International Airport Pty Ltd for $108 million.

Canberra airport: 
sold to consortium led by the Snow brothers for $65 million.

Hobart airport
: sold to Hobart International Airport Pty Ltd for $35 million.

Dampier-to-Bunbury natural gas pipeline
: Epic Energy, a consortium including American power giants El Paso and Consolidated Natural Gas, along with AMP, NSW State Super and Hastings, pay the WA Government a ridiculous $2.47 billion for the Dampier-to-Bunbury natural gas pipeline and eventually lose all their equity.

Australian Industry Development Corporation: trade sale that raised $200 million for the Howard Government.


Ecogen Energy: owner of Victoria’s two small gas-fired power stations, sold by Kennett Government to US utility AES for $350 million.

Queensland TAB
: floated for $2 a share or $268 million in 1999 and then taken over by Tabcorp in 2004 as investors enjoyed returns of almost 1000%, including a solid dividend flow.

Gascor: the final Kennett Government privatisation saw Queensland’s controversial state-owned energy company Energex pay $29.25 million for the rights to buy 10 petejoules of gas from Gascor for the next four years until the market was fully contestible. This was Alan Stockdale’s way of trying to bring a fourth competitor into the gas market.

ETSA transmission
: Li Ka-Shing led Cheung Kong Infrastructure and Hong Kong Electric Holdings pays $3.5 billion to the South Australian government for ETSA transmission and distribution assets.

Westar/Kinetik: Texas Utilities buys the first of three Victoria gas retailers and distributors, Westar/Kinetik, for $1.62 billion.

: American group Utilicorp and its local partner AMP paid the Kennett Government $1.97 billion to snare the second of Victoria’s gas retailers and distributors.

Gasnet: Victoria’s monopoly gas transmission business, sold to GPU for $1.025 billion in the last of the Kennett sales.


Broadcast Australia: Howard Government sell the SBS and ABC transmission towers for $650 million to UK company NTL, which later sold them to Macquarie Bank which then jacked up the prices paid by taxpayers and doubled their money.

Torrens Island power station: Texas Utilities pays $295 million to the South Australian government for a 100 year lease to operate the 1280mW gas-fired Torrens Island power station.

Alinta Gas: Utilicorp (later Aquila) and AMP pay $4.38 a share for a cornerstone shareholding in WA gas utility Alinta Gas before it is floated by the Court government at the knockdown price of $2.25 a share. Singapore Power and the Babcock & Brown empire than bought the business for about $15 a share in 2007, so once again taxpayers were dudded. However, those who accepted all that Babcock paper only finished up with about $11 a share – still not a bad result after paying $2.25 in the float.

ElectraNet: Queensland’s Powerlink, ABB and Macquarie Bank form a consortium and pay $938 million for South Australia’s electricity transmission company ElectraNet.


Bell Bay power station
: the government-owned Tasmanian Hydro Electric Corporation hands 120mW Bell Bay power station to Duke Energy for conversion to natural gas, complete with a long term management contract.


National Rail Corporation and Freightcorp: Howard Government received $1.05 billion from Toll Holdings and Patrick Corp for its rail assets.


Millmerran power station
: the 840mW station is the largest “greenfield” private investment in electricity generation in Australia (as opposed to purchasing an existing facility from a government utility). It was built by a InterGen/Shell-Bechtel joint venture and is owned by a partnership made up of InterGen, Marubeni, GE Capital, Tohoku Electric and EIF.


Roaring 40s Renewable Energy: China Light & Power invests $110 million for a 50% stake in Hydro Tasmania’s Roaring 40s Renewable Energy business.


DirectLink: Australian Pipeline Trust (now APA Group) buys the DirectLink electricity transmission asset linking the NSW and Queensland power grids for $170 million from the NSW Government-owned Country Energy, Hydro Quebec International Group and Fonds de Solidarites des Travailleurs de Quebec.

Australian Railway Group: Queensland Government owned Queensland Rail teams up with Babcock & Brown to buy the partially government-owned Australian Railway Group in a $1 billion deal that covers three non-Queensland states.

Murraylink power connector
: Australian Pipeline Trust (now APA Group) buys the 180km underground Murraylink power connector linking the Victorian, South Australian and NSW power markets for $153 million. The asset was built by Hydro Quebec for $177 million.

Allgas energy: Australian Pipeline Trust, now renamed APA Group, pays $535 million to the Queensland Government for the Allgas energy distribution business.

Sun Retail
: Origin Energy pays $1.2 billion to the Queensland Government for Sun Retail, the major part of the old Energex retail operations. AGL pays $75 million for the smaller Sun Gas Retail business.


Powerdirect: AGL buys retailer Powerdirect from the Queensland government for an bargain of $1.2 billion.


Tatts Group: in a deal worth more than $1 billion, they purchased the state lotteries company from the NSW government. The NSW government will receive $850 million cash for the licence and purchase of the NSW Lotteries Corporation.


I will continue to add to the list, when time permits, if any would like to assist, please email me details on the many I have missed so far.


Mark Aldridge