Specialising in the human experience of Living with prostate cancer – warts and all

Snowy saved – people power works in Australia

leave a comment »

The campaign against the sale of the Snowy by environmentalists, irrigators, Greens, Nationals, locals MPs, high profile Australians and members of the general public has proved that people power works.

Here is the timeline on what happened:

Snowy Timeline

16 December 2005 – NSW government announces it will sell its 58% share in Snowy Hydro.

8 February, 2006 – Finance Minister Nick Minchin announces the federal government is selling its 13% share, following NSW’s decision.

13 February 2006 – VIC government joins the sale, with its 29% shareholdings

8 March 2006 – Joint lead managers are announced to handle the sale – Goldman Sachs JBWere, Macquarie Bank, and UBS

29 March 2006 -With only 24 hours notice, the Senate passes a motion “to approve the transfer or disposal of the Commonwealth shares in the Snowy Hydro Company…” In the Senate, those against: the Greens’ Bob Brown, Kerry Nettle (NSW), Christine Milne (Tas) and Rachel Siewert (WA); and the Democrats’ Lyn Allison (Vic), Andrew Bartlett (Qld) and Natasha Stott Despoja (SA). Bill Heffernan (Liberal, NSW) Andrew Murray ( Democrats, WA) abstained.

30 March 2006 – House of Representatives passes the motion to approve the sale. Independent MPs Peter Andren and Tony Windsor are the only two to record their dissent.

22 May 2006 – Pre-registration for Snowy float opens

May 24 2006 – Greens release legal advice from Brian Walters SC, that the sale of the government’s shares is illegal until it passes actual legislation through the Parliament, not just motions. The government rejects the advice but later moves to introduce legislation, setting up a new vote on the sale, and this time, a loss in the Senate.

May 24 2006 – Senator Brown sends a letter to the Australian Stock Exchange outlining the legal problems with the sale of the Commonwealth’s shares and advises they get independent legal advice.

May 25 2006 – The Prime Minister, on returning to Australia, tells the Parliament that,” this is probably an issue where, on the surface, a majority of public opinion would oppose what is being done by the three governments … But for the reasons I have outlined, I think the government has taken the right decision.” He says the government’s legal advice is “pretty sound”

May 30 2006 – A motion from Peter Andren MP, seconded by Tony Windsor MP opposes the sale pending a public inquiry in the House of Representatives. Liberals adjourn debate.

May 30 2006 – Senator Bob Brown sends ultimatum to Howard to legislate or the Greens will institute a High Court challenge. Government announces legislation to put a cap on foreign ownership. Senator Minchin says the legislation will “have the effect of reaffirming the authority of the Commonwealth to participate in the sale.”

May 31 2006 – Greens announce their move for a senate inquiry into the sale.

June 1 2006 – A letter signed by 56 prominent Australians opposed to the sale is presented to the VIC, NSW and federal Parliaments.

June 2 2006 – Prime Minister announces the federal government will be withdrawing its 13% share from the Snowy sale. NSW and VIC governments follow shortly after.

“The big parties have been routed by Australian public opinion,” Greens Leader Bob Brown said today. Messrs Howard, Vaile and Beazley misread the Australian public. The Greens did not. This is a Greens political victory but, above all, a victory for democracy.”


Written by Greg Naylor

2 June 2006 at 8:35 pm

Posted in media release

Tagged with

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: