Mutual Concept Just Service Privatisation
The push is on in earnest for PSM's to deliver public services but as the case studies from the UK and the recent announcements in NSW highlight, the privateers have just come up with a new friendly sounding model of their old agenda to transfer public resources to private corporations. Former Greiner Cabinet Secretary Gary Sturgess has arrived back in Australia after ten years in the UK as ED at the Serco Institute, and a short stint across the ditch, to advise the NSW, Victorian and Queensland conservative government's about his free market philosphies on front-line service delivery. His radical ideas recently made the AFR's comment page ahead of a planned feature dinner address at IPAA's Victoria's State Summit in June. Federal Secretary Karen Batt responds ........
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Gary Sturgess conveniently overlooks that the State is already our Mutual. (Public and private are not mutually exclusive – AFR 1/5). Franchising this franchise further to deliver public services always throws up questions of motives and questions about service quality and responsibility. Why should the State pay high returns to have a privateer or so called mutual run a service when it can do so in house without paying this profit dividend. The Sturgess’ mutualisation style programme model just conceals the true objective which is transferring public services to the private sector.
It began in Chile under Pinochet, then under Reagan in the USA, under Thatcher and now Cameron in the UK. It’s across the ditch under Key and even in Canada under Harper.
Conservative Governments here tease struggling NGO’s with dreams of streams of gold now. It’s been re-badged just in time for our Federal Election. There exists no genuine desire to hand ordinary people power, an ambition historically shared by the co-operative and trade union movements. This concept is rhetorical cover for a massive programme of privatisation. It runs concurrently as the public sector faces massive cutbacks. There is no mutual interest or consent. It is not a model that will improve the delivery of Australia’s public services.
CPSU / SPSF Victorian Branch Secretary / Federal Secretary
Monday 1st May 2013