Join the new revolution to keep public assets in community hands

The following letter to the editor was published in the Canberra Times on Jan 24th.

E. J. Reeves (Letters, January 21) has reason to worry about the privatisation of ICONWater.

The ACT government is encouraged by the federal government to “recycle assets”, which means sell public assets to private concerns.

Of the seven directors of ICONWater, only one has any qualification connected to water delivery. Most have a finance or economics background.

The government is under continual pressure from mainstream economic, media and political advisers to privatise public assets.

Some members of the ICONWater Community Consultative Forum have listened to the ideas on water tariffs suggested by the Independent Commission on Regulation and Competition and are concerned.

In response, we are forming an ACT Water Rewards Co-op of ICONWater customers to address the tariff issues and to provide an alternative for the government to the recycling of assets.

The co-op will ensure our water resources remain in community hands, bring fairer water tariffs while making our water assets available as collateral for investment loans from customers in the water using community.

We will be discussing the Co-op with both ICONWater and the government over the next few weeks. In the meantime, anyone who is interested can search for ACT Water Rewards on Facebook and follow the group.

Kevin Cox, Ngunnawal

Reduce the Cost of Debt with Smart Money

The following was a submission made to the Australian Federal Treasury in response to an invitation from the minister for small business.

The Australian Debt Clock reports Australian debt at over $6,147 Billion dollars. At an average interest rate of 5%, this is a cost of $307 billion dollars. Australian GDP is $1401, and so the cost of interest is 22% of GDP.

We pay interest rate because the money we use is information poor. If we use Smart Money, we can eliminate the cost of interest. It will solve the government budget emergency, balance the books, and provide the Australian people with an increase in goods and services.

Smart Money is money that contains information. The money includes the following type of information:

  • who owns it,
  • where it came from,
  • what is the cost of borrowing it,
  • its history of use,
  • what it will buy,
  • its value,
  • what it purchased

In contrast everyday money only has value information

The cost of having dumb money is the cost of interest. Interest pays to make sure money retains its value. Money retains its value if we can trust the money symbols to represent value. If we have more information about the money, the cost of moving money covers the cost of having trust in the value of money.

Smart Money or Information Rich Money is a new concept. The implementation of transaction and investments to use Smart Money uses well-known techniques of distributed processing made possible by recent advances in information technologies.

Importantly Smart Money can be introduced incrementally without disrupting existing systems and for a low cost. ACT Water Rewards Co-op intends to implement Smart money for ACT Water payments and investment. It is expected to give the ACT government another $70 million dollars annually by replacing dumb debt of $1.5 Billion.

This submission recommends the government spend a small amount to investigate ACT Water Rewards Co-op with the aim of operating its own Smart Money Trials.