Sunday, September 24, 2006

Get your hands off our water

Beware Australia.
The Business Council has discovered that profits could be made from water. It wants to get its hands on water and make it a commodity - something it can trade. It has appointed a slick, softly-spoken woman to puts its case to the media, with an unctuous superiority which asserts that we, the people, don't really understand the issue the way these business people do. Business could do a lot of good for water supply, they say - if it was allowed to attract investment. It could look at all sorts of "options", it could review "pricing frameworks", it could put summer water restrictions behind us. It is just a matter of people paying the right amount for its water use. If we pay, there is plenty of water and we can use all we like. Well, business people, there is not enough water and you know that damned well. Your long shot here is that very issue. Once you have your corporate hand on water, you can "discover" the shortages and jack up the costs - ever considering the profitable return on investment that your shareholders will demand. But, of course, anything they do will be better than allowing goverments to have control of this important resource, the Business Council purrs. Governments are monopolies, after all. Water management under compeitition, "dis-agregated", would be much better. Or so they claim - so knowingly and so charmingly. This is a massive and dangerous con job by the corporate sector.

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