The chickens come home to roost for the privatisation of Victoria’s power supply.

THE AGE reports “Jurors on Wednesday found the operator of the Latrobe Valley’s Hazelwood Power Station guilty of 10 WorkSafe breaches, including failing to do an adequate risk assessment and failing to have a reticulated water pipe system for worked-out mines.”

The massive open-cut mine fire at the Hazelwood plant in Morwell, February 2014. CREDIT: KEITH PAKENHAM

Wednesday’s decision in the Supreme Court also removes the suppression order on details of an earlier trial, which found four companies behind the mine guilty of three charges of breaching the Environment Protection Act.

Geoff Dyke, the CFMMEU mining and energy branch secretary,  said fire protection measures were removed from the mine since privatisation, despite a history of coal mine fires in the district.

This is the price of privatisation. In the biD to drive down costs, the operator of the Latrobe Valley’s Hazelwood Power Station, Hazelwood Power Corporation, a subsidiary of Engie, introduced to series of cost-cutting measures that could possibly have avoided this expensive and disastrous fire.

And where does the ultimate responsibility for the privatisation of our power supplies supplies lie?

With the disastrously misguided policies of the Kennett government which thought that introducing competition into the supply of water and power in the state of Victoria was going to drive down prices through the mechanism of competition.

A double whammy failure.

And these are the two men responsible for that disastrous set of public policies: Alan Stockdale and Jeff Kennett.

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