Ecumenical fight against power sale

The Catholic and Anglican Bishops of Newcastle have joined forces to battle the NSW State government against selling parts of the state's power grid.

The Catholic Weekly reports Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Michael Malone (pictured)and Anglican Bishop of Newcastle Dr Brian Farran are opposing the proposal which they say has left Newcastle wondering "why".

Bishop Malone said he is unsurwe why Mr Iemma and Mr Costa are "hell-bent on selling the electricity grid"

Premier Iemma announced late last year that government would sell off the State's electricity retailers and lease its power stations for $15 billion, despite the ALP's Left faction voting to oppose it.

The privatisation plan will be up for approval at the forthcoming State ALP conference which 10 years ago turned down a similar proposal by the Carr government.

"The government's reasoning is that it needsed the money to build a new power station," Bishop Malone said

"But as I understand it the electricity system's annual earnings are already in the region of $1.2 billion, enough to repay a loan for that purpose.

"The sale to me seems very strange. What's behind it?"

Bishop Malone said he and Bishop Farran had been asked to take leading roles opposing the sale.

Bishop Malone and Bishop Farran plan soon to sign a formal covenant to 'cement deeper relationships' between the Catholic and Anglican Churches in Newcastle.

It will involve an annual ecumenical service, an annual joint clergy day, exchange of pulpits and examining the possibilities of sharing church planning.

Bishops join forces tofight State's power sale (Catholic Weekly 17/02/08)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
Anglican Archdiocese of Newcastle

14 Feb 2008