Stop privatisation of Queensland government assets

Posted February 25, 2013 by Together Queensland

The Together Queensland Union has today launched a new campaign against the privatisation of Queensland Government assets.

Together Secretary Alex Scott said today, “This week the Queensland government is going to give a report that’s going to recommend the significant privatisation of government services assets across Queensland.

“We know this (State) government is not going to release that report.

“This (State) government has been working on plans for the privatisation of assets across Queensland government departments for the last twelve months and this report is just a rubber stamp of their existing plans.

“This (State) government is addicted to privatisation because what it knows is that by privatising assets and services it can have no responsibility for the failure of the services.

“We have already seen in the last week the failure of this (State) government to be responsible for the destruction of our hospital system.

“We’ve seen this (State) government fail to be accountable for the massive increase in electricity prices despite their promises before the last election.

“But what we now know is that this (State) government will seek to have no community consultation over the outsourcing and privatisation of some of our most important services in Queensland, our correctional system, our disability services, our government housing.

“This (state) government does not want to release the Costello report, because the last thing it wants to do is have a Queensland community debate about what the role of government is and how important these services are.

This (state) government understands privatisation of assets is deeply unpopular within the Queensland community because privatisation will lead to lower quality services, particularly in regional Queensland.

“This (state) government is now going to try to hide the Costello report for as long as possible to avoid having to have a public debate about its breaking of election promises around the privatisation of government services and government assets.

“There are a number of working parties already working on the privatisation of a range of (state) government activities, the government is not denying that, but they are trying to say that the working parties are not current government policy.

“We know they (the state government) are looking at privatising correctional services, we know they are looking at privatising disability services, we know they are looking at privatising government housing.

“What we also know is that the (state) government doesn’t want to talk about it, it doesn’t want to have a debate with the community about the massive privatisation agenda that they will be announcing sometime between now and July.

“Clearly this (state) government has given directions for these working parties to be formed.

“The government has already had the second Costello report, it’s about to have the third Costello report which is in final draft.

“We know the (state) government was always going to use the Costello report as an excuse for privatisation.

“The reason this (state) government wants to privatise everything is because they are so dramatically cutting services, and the funding to those services, they want someone else to be held accountable for the destruction of services that is going to occur in the coming months and years ahead.

“We saw that when they (the state government) ripped $3 billion worth from the (Queensland) health system, now they want to blame Canberra and they want to blame the health boards.

“We’ve seen that in relation to their failure to deliver on their limiting electricity pricing for instance.

“This (state) government doesn’t want to be held accountable for the fact that services are going to be destroyed, last year they destroyed jobs, this year they are destroying services.

“But the one thing they won’t do is stand up and have a conversation with the Queensland community because they know the Queensland community will be opposed to privatisation of our services.

“They have said many times not before the next election and they have said a lot of things that turn out just not to be true.

“What the (state) government is doing at the moment is trying to find through focus groups and spin doctors a way of saying privatisation is not privatisation, whether they call it contracting out, whether they call it outsourcing.

“What they will be seeking to do under the Costello report is to make sure they don’t have privatisation as a term used so they can say it’s not a breach of an election promise.

"What we know is through the privatisation of the ASRS system within Disability Services we will probably see 1000 jobs go.

“Thousands more Queensland families are going to be directly affected by the privatisation of these three services.

“We know they (the state government) are well advanced in their plans and we expect those announcements to occur sometime before the start of July as will the privatisation of corrections as will the privatisation of government housing.

“What we know is this (state) government is committed to this privatisation programme irrespective of what comes out of the Costello report to because they know privatisation will cover the fact that they are destroying Government services to the Queensland community.

“What we are seeing by the failure to release this report is the fact this (state) government is shy about having an actual conversation with the Queensland community, being honest with the Queensland community about their plans because they know privatisation is a death knell in terms of politics.

“What they (the state government) need to do is find something else to call it so they can say they are not breaking their election promises.”


Authorised Alex Scott, Secretary, Together.
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