Martin Ferguson may claim he is “Labor to the bootstraps”, but he has sold every other part of himself to the highest bidders in corporate Australia, ETU national secretary Allen Hicks said.
Mr Hicks has called on Mr Ferguson to end the farce that he has any concern for working Australians, tear up his ALP membership, and stop using his past career to undermine the best interests of working Australians.
“Martin Ferguson should do the honourable thing, admit he has no interest in the needs of working Australians, tear up his ALP membership card, and be upfront about the people he truly cares about: his paymasters in corporate Australia,” Mr Hicks said.
“Far from being a champion for working people, Mr Ferguson is now the director of a multinational oil and gas company, BG Group, head of natural resources for Seven Group, and chairman of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association advisory board.
“Not content with being the worst energy minister our country has ever seen, Mr Ferguson has sold his name, previous career and final shreds of credibility to the big end of town, and it is their best interest alone that he now champions.
“He may still claim that to be ‘Labor to the bootstraps’, but it seems he’s sold off everything else to the highest bidder.”
Mr Hicks also said Mr Ferguson’s claims that electricity network privatisation would be good for consumers was completely counter to the experiences of his former constituents in Victoria.
“Poor maintenance by the private owners of the Victorian electricity network was responsible for sparking fires on Black Saturday that killed more than 100 people,” Mr Hicks said.
“And prices paid by consumers are the same as in NSW, despite the network being just a quarter of the geographic size and being powered by cheaper brown coal.
“A poll conducted earlier this year revealed nearly 67 per cent of Victorians believe they are worse off with privatised power, 65 per cent say it is more expensive, and a massive 73 per cent would support a buy-back of the assets by the state government.
“With his massive parliamentary pension, paid by the taxes of working Australians, along with his new pay packed from corporate Australia, Martin Ferguson has no idea what the lives of low income workers are like, or what is in their best interest.”
Further information: Tim Vollmer — 0404 273 313