News (122)

North Queensland public sector workers have stepped up pressure to rule out privatising Medicare and Centrelink services

North Queensland public sector workers have stepped up pressure on the federal government to rule out privatising Medicare and Centrelink services. “Community and Public Sector Union Queensland assistant regional secretary Amy Smith said the use of labour hire and potential privatisation of the service industry would negatively impact the North. ‘Centrelink services in North Queensland are under pressure because the Government has put profits before people by selling out jobs and millions of dollars to Serco, Stellar, Concentrix, Datacom and other labour hire companies,’ she said. ‘The money that’s being handed to corporations through privatisation should be spent providing quality, permanent jobs in North Queensland.’” The union has launched a “Proud to be Public” campaign.


"Save The State. Change The Government"

The Public Service Association of New South Wales declares “Save the State. Change the Government.” PSA says “the public sector has suffered under eight years of Coalition Government and its agenda to reduce the services we provide to the NSW community. This cannot continue.” This has included “$60 billion worth of assets sold off to the private sector. The gifting of government run ageing and disability services has left our most vulnerable without a safety net.”

Source: Public Service Association

The 'Uberfication' of education: warning about commercial operators

Angelo Gavrielatos, head of the commercialisation campaign of Educationa International, warns against the ‘Uberfication’ of education. “Education International is targeting ‘educorporations’ including Pearson and Bridge International Academies, a company listed in Delaware, US, that operates in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, India and Liberia. The World Bank and Pearson are supporters of Bridge International.”

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

Morrison Government’s privatisation by stealth

There has been a sharp negative reaction to Queensland Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s alleged plans to privatize the state’s energy assets “by stealth.” Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy Mark Butler says “this isn’t a ‘big stick’ policy, it’s the latest version of the Liberals’ ‘big sell-off’—going after the publicly owned electricity assets that Labor Governments have refused to privatize. Privatization means higher power prices for families. Privatizing energy assets hasn’t led to lower prices or better outcomes for consumers; it has led to massive private profits and electricity prices that keep going up and up. Yet electricity privatization remains in the Liberals’ DNA.”

Source: pv magazine Australia

The infrastructure privatization through “asset recycling"

The chairman of Industry Super Australia, which manages money for public pension funds, is pushing “a future Shorten government” to adopt infrastructure privatization through “asset recycling.” But the Australian Financial Review also reports that “at the upcoming ALP National Conference, the CFMEU and TWU will bring a resolution to ‘turf banks out of superannuation.’”

Source: Australian Financial Review

New Sydney hospital boss quits

Northern Beaches Hospital, the newly-opened flagship of Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s privatization agenda for public services from prisons to technical education to health, stumbles out of the gate—and its chief executive has already resigned. It is a test of whether it makes sense to run hospitals as private-public partnerships.

Source: SBS News

Northern Beaches Hospital: “the public must be assured that Healthscope is not cutting costs excessively''

The Sydney Morning Herald says “the public must be assured that Healthscope is not cutting costs excessively or shifting difficult patients to other state-run hospitals or cross-subsidizing its private hospital business located at the same site with facilities designed for the public Northern Beaches Hospital. Equally the public will be concerned if a takeover bid on the share market now under way against Healthscope has distracted management.” The problems have been critical. Doctors at the embattled new PPP hospital “threatened to withhold treatment from private patients in a desperate move to force the state government to act on their concerns about the under-resourced facility.”

The Great Barrier Reef: government was “outsourcing its responsibility"

The opposition Labor Party says, if elected, it will reverse the government’s decision to put the fight against the effects of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef in the hands of a private organization. “Labor says that should it win office, it will re-allocate the funding to public sector agencies.” The party's environment spokesman, Tony Burke, said the government was “outsourcing its responsibility. (…) The foundation is scrambling to try to deal with a level of responsibility that can only properly be handled with the advice and corporate knowledge of the government agencies themselves." Mr. Burke said “the government has a policy to privatise the decision making over the Great Barrier Reef and have priorities and delivery agents determined by a small foundation.”

The Labor Party has outlined its conditions for approving the TPP as negotiated by the government

The Labor Party has outlined its conditions for approving the TPP as negotiated by the government. “Other provisions Labor has identified as prohibited are those that require the privatization of public services, undermine the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, undermine Australia's anti-dumping laws, limit the ability of the Australian government to regulate in the interests of public welfare or in relation to safe products, undermine mandatory skills testing requirements and place restrictions on government procurement.” Nevertheless, “ACTU president Michele O'Neil called the new conditions, which Mr. Clare outlined in a private member’s bill, as ‘a seismic shift in ALP trade policy. The ACTU maintains its opposition to the TPP and its enabling legislation. The [private member's] bill sets out a new course for trade in our country after years of damaging deals by the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison government, which put big business profits ahead of working people,’ she said. AMWU national secretary Paul Bastian, whose union was one of the most vocal critics of the TPP, remained disappointed with what he said was Labor's betrayal of workers. ‘However, we acknowledge that workers raised concerns and Bill Shorten listened. Now it’s time for [Prime Minister] Scott Morrison to do the same.’”

Hands off our public services!

Sabrin Farooqui, a Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) delegate, says “Centrelink needs more permanent staff! Privatization and Serco aren’t the answers.Sabrin Farooqui, a Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) delegate, says “Centrelink needs more permanent staff! Privatization and Serco aren’t the answers.” Melissa Donnelly (@DonnellyMel), the deputy secretary of CPSU, shares news of community protest against the government’s cuts and privatization of Centrelink services. They are sending a message to Craig Laundy, Minister for Small and Family Business, the Workplace and Deregulation: “hands off our public services.”

Plans to outsource visa processing are scary

Plans to outsource visa processing are scary, according to a former immigration official. Abul Rizvi, a former departmental deputy secretary says “the potential for a private provider to create a fast and slow lane for processing had ‘frightening’ long-term implications and the proposed use of applicants’ data for marketing purposes was ‘appalling.’ Rizvi joins the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) and the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia in expressing concern about the outsourcing plan, which has not received a final sign-off from the cabinet after months of testing the market for expressions of interest.”

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