After yesterday’s extraordinary swing against the Queensland Government, which will likely deliver the Opposition to power, it’s now clear that the Government’s privatisation plan was too ambitious and, as Sir Humphrey would have said, courageous. Strong Choices will join John Hewson’s Fightback as an example of why you shouldn’t take a comprehensive economic reform package to an election. The Queensland public were obviously concerned about the proposed privatisations and were worried about what would happen to electricity prices, jobs, and the State Budget, among other things.
As I’ve commented previously, the Government failed to present a convincing case for its privatisation plan. I think there was one to be made, but the Government went wrong from the outset when it didn’t engage seriously with the public on the pros and cons of privatisation. And, by failing to produce a comprehensive economic and fiscal analysis of its plan, it couldn’t effectively respond to obvious questions about economic and fiscal impacts.
Relevant previous posts of mine include: