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The Blind Men and the Elephant - The Impact of Privatisation

This in-depth report analyses the real impact of the widespread privatisation carried out by State and Federal governments in Australia.


Commissioned by the Melbourne Unitarian Peace Memorial Church, the study entitled, 'The Blind Man and the Elephant: Getting the picture clear on privatisation', aims to raise awareness of the ongoing privatisation of state owned assets and entities and aims to provide hard facts to the Australian public.

Between 1987 and 2013 Australian governments sold off public assets worth $194 billion. Victoria has experienced more privatisation than all of the other states combined. Successive governments sold off the Commonwealth Bank, the domestic and international airlines, naval dockyards, defence-related aircraft factories, communications satellite systems, the natural gas pipeline system, the national railway service, serum laboratories, the management of superannuation funds for public sector employees and a housing network for ex-servicemen.

That is a lot of wealth that was once in public hands and used for the public benefit that has now been shifted into the hands of private investors and big corporations.

The report clearly and simply explains ten myths of privatisation - and the real motivations behind it - backed up with detailed case studies. One such case study is the selling of the State Electricity Commission of Victoria, which has led to a 170 per cent increase in the cost of electricity across Australia. Another is the sale of the State Bank of NSW, which has been described by leading economists as one of Australia’s worst financial scandals of the last century.

It is clear that after several decades, and in spite of much propaganda extolling the benefits of privatisation, many Australians have not swallowed the stories told by politicians and economists.  It is hoped that this report, which was supported by generous community donations, will help voters sift fact from fiction and enable them to make more informed decisions in future elections.

If you are concerned about austerity, if you are committed to social justice, we ask you to read this startling exposure and pass it on as widely as possible.  The Blind Man and the Elephant: Getting the picture clear on privatisation can be accessed via this link.

Download 'The Blind Man and the Elephant'.

Hard copies, if required, are available from the Unitarian Church (03 9417 4178, or via the web contact page)


 An Article by Kaye Lee published on the Australian Independent Media Network website  "Selling off the Family Jewels"