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Australia debates sell offs as elections loom

The forthcoming state and federal elections being held in Australia have sparked bitter political disputes over the planned privatisations of state electricity systems. While some groups are in favour of selling off electricity assets as a method of raising much needed finance, others see such a move as tantamount to treason. In South Australia, the Liberal government has been keen to raise funds from an outright sale of Optima Energy and ETSA Corp., but has to pass the relevant statutes through the upper house. The Liberals had needed two extra votes, but the legislation passed to a second reading with the help of an independent MP and a rebel Labour MP who crossed the floor. However, the

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