Thousands Protest in S.A.
Over a thousand prison officers walked off the job today and most marched on Parliament House demanding the South Australian government reverse its decision to privatise the Adelaide Remand Centre while simultaneous protests were held in Murray Bridge Port Augusta and Port Lincoln outside their prisons.
Prior to the State Election then Opposition Leader, Steven Marshall, was asked about the policy on privatisation and public service job cuts at a PSA Election Forum. He stated that the party he led had no intention to privatise anything. He also said that the best option for public service employment growth was the election of a Liberal Government. He went onto say that it was the best way to meet growing demands was by employing public servants to meet that demand. He misled everyone.
The election was in March and a Liberal Government was entrusted to run S.A. for the first time in 16 years. The S.A Budget was brought down last week containing 4,000 redundancies/job cuts, the privatisation of the Adelaide Remand Centre and the introduction of the (failed) Benchmarking system that will result in further cuts to the prison system. This coupled with a program of cuts to operating budgets at public pathology and radiology which will result in the likely privatisation of these services and the closure of a number of Services Connect Offices and 7 TAFE Campuses.
Today’s state-wide stop work of S.A. prisons is a beginning of the fight back against these cuts.