[The following receipt of our complaint was received around 5.45 pm 6 May 2008]
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You submitted the following:
Mr Tom McLoughlin
6th May 2008
public energy privatisation in NSW
Paul Keating, international chairman of Lazard Carnegie Wylie
Keating says in the SMH today: "[in 1997} the power stations were worth $35 billion. A decade later the price discussion for the same stations is about $15 billion. That is, $20 billion in lost value; $20 billion that could have been spent on education, health and vital new infrastructure. A vast sum even by national government standards."
John Kaye MP (Greens) and Phd in electrical engineering no less stated today this was "deeply misleading"."Mr Keating has conveniently ignored the billions of dollars in the low and high voltage network that then Premier Carr wanted to sell off and was included in the $35 billion price tag. "He has wiped out the value of 12,440 km of high voltage transmission lines owned by Transgrid. "He has written down to zero the $10.9 billion assets of the state’s electricity distributors, including 2.2 million power poles and the 169 thousand substations. [end quote].
Under s.52 and state equivalents of the Trade Practices Act (Commonwealth) it is illegal to engage in conduct that is misleading and deceptive in the course of business. There may be an exemption for news reportage. However we feel that Keating may be in breach of the law of the land as regards honest business practice. Certainly if he repeats these statements outside the newspaper he will be, and he may still have done so. I do believe this is a case for the ACCC to investigate as the corporate watchdog.