Thursday, April 27, 2006

Bracks 1999 Giveaway Could Cost Taxpayers Millions

Crikey has the scoop on how Steve Bracks' promise to increase the flows in the Snowy River to 21% by 2012 could cost Victorian taxpayers millions.

Bracksy had to make the promise because he didn't actually win the election, he only won 42 seats in the 88 seat lower house, compared to 43 held by the Coalition. As a result, 3 independent MPs, one of them Craig Ingram, held the balance of power. And Steve needed that balance of power. He really needed it. How else would people learn to remember his name, than if he became Premier? Destined otherwise to a life of anonymity, Bracks needed those votes to become Premier.

So he made the proverbial deal with devil and promised Craig Ingram, a new Independent MP from East Gippsland, to increase the flows in the Snowy to 21% by 2012. It didn't seem hard, it wasn't going to cost money, it wasn't going to make anyone angry, and it did establish some very nice shiny new Greenie credentials. So why not? 21% by 2012. After all, it's just water, isn't it?

Steve Bracks isn't the rain man though, he couldn't just get that water from thin air. It had to be taken from somewhere, or someone, or more particularly, Snowy Hydro, the generation part of the Snowy Mountain Scheme.

The same Snowy Hydro that today, Steve Bracks wants to sell. The same Snowy Hydro that tomorrow, might be suing Steve Bracks's bum in court for the millions of dollars it has lost. All because Steve Bracks didn't really win the 1999 election . . .

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