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Experts back union concerns over NSW Government wiping its hands of disability services

Apr 24, 2017

PSA Media release:

The Public Service Association (PSA) has attacked the NSW Government for scrapping public disability services, throwing the care of people with disability into free fall.

The union’s long held position was today backed by concerns of the NSW Mental Health Commission that there will only be funding for approximately a quarter of existing mental health services under the NDIS.

This follows last week’s revelation by the Federal Health Department that the number of people with mental health issues expected to access the NDIS had been underestimated by 30,000 – leading to a cost blow out of $1 billion.

“This is the disaster this union has been warning about for some time but despite the mounting evidence, the NSW Government is pushing on regardless,” said PSA General Secretary, Stewart Little.

“NSW Minister for Disability Services, Ray Williams is about to preside over the greatest social tragedy NSW has ever seen.”

The fate of tens of thousands of people with disabilities – the most vulnerable in our community – is being handed to non-Government operators who will be focused on profits.

“There is not going to be the money nor the capacity to properly service people with disability under the NDIS,” said Mr Little.

“By June 2018, the NSW Government will have completely stepped out of the disability space leaving NSW as the only state in Australia with no Government safety net.”

“Tens of thousands stand to fall through the cracks, destined to land heavily in the state’s hospitals and even the criminal justice system – areas lacking expertise in specialist disability care.”

PSA slams heartless NSW Government for wiping its hands of disability services

Apr 20, 2017

PSA media release

The Public Service Association has attacked the NSW Government for scrapping public disability services on the same day a billion dollar NDIS cost blow out has been revealed.

“This is the worst possible time for the NSW Government to be washing its hands of public disability services,” said PSA General Secretary, Stewart Little.

“It’s the disaster this union has been warning about for some time.

“NSW Minister for Disability Services, Ray Williams is about to preside over the greatest social tragedy NSW has ever seen. That’s quite a legacy.”

The fate of tens of thousands of people with disabilities – the most vulnerable in our community – is now being handed to non-Government operators who will be focused on profits.

It comes as a new report from the Federal Health Department reveals it under estimated by  30,000 the number of people expected to access the NDIS – leading to a cost blow out of $1 billion.

“There is not going to be the money nor the capacity to properly service people with disability under the NDIS and by June 2018, the NSW Government will have completely stepped out of that space,” Mr Little said.

“NSW will be the only state in Australia with no Government safety net, throwing the care of people with disability into free fall.

“Tens of thousands stand to fall through the cracks destined to land in the state’s hospitals, mental health facilities and even the criminal justice system –  areas lacking expertise in specialist disability care.”

457 visa changes must stop job rorts after privatisation – union

Apr 20, 2017

PSA media release:

The Turnbull Government’s changes to 457 Visas must stop the NSW Government contracting out vital public services then replacing full time local jobs with “temporary” overseas workers said the Public Service Association (PSA).

The union which called for an inquiry into the matter back in November 2016 said the NSW Government used 457 ‘temporary’ visas to fill 32 full time “onshore” jobs following the outsourcing of ServiceFirst which handled IT, HR and payroll functions for Government.

The PSA fears the changes announced by the Turnbull Government will simply rebadge the scheme and continue its downward spiral in employment terms that will impact on the soon to be privatised disability sector and other outsourced areas in NSW.

“Skilled experienced local workers in full time employment are being thrown on the jobs scrapheap by the NSW Government through its mass privatisation program and replaced by foreign workers on ‘temporary’ visas,” said PSA General Secretary, Stewart Little.

“Is the revamped system going to stop the NSW Government from bringing in more workers on low pay as it did following the privatisation of ServiceFirst?”

“Is the revamped system going to stop the NSW Government from bringing in disability workers on inferior conditions after the privatisation of the public disability sector?”

Land Titles Registry sale a disaster for millions in NSW

Apr 12, 2017

PSA Media release:

The NSW Government decision to lease the 150 year old Land Titles Registry to Hastings Funds Management and First State Super is a recipe for disaster for millions of property owners across NSW said the Public Service Association (PSA).

“It is hands down, the most appalling fire sale decision yet by a Government with a strong track record in that area”, said PSA General Secretary, Stewart Little.

“The Government trumpets its efforts on ‘life-changing projects’ but what could be more life changing for millions of people across NSW than to lose the security on their own property?

“Just as the PSA feared all along, ultimately the personal property records of the people in NSW will be held offshore given a portion of the successful consortium is based in London.”

Currently, the Government provides insurance and security of property titles. But now the Registry has been sold to a private operator, individual land owners may be forced to take out insurance to guard against unscrupulous property developers or fraud.

“These super companies will be out to turn a profit for their members,” Mr Little said.

“In recent times, Registry costs to the consumer have increased by 300%, just to fatten the company for sale and it will only get worse.

“How on earth can the Premier call this a win win situation?

“Selling a critical Government function that has such an enormous bearing on the economy and the lives of every land and property owner in NSW is nothing short of ideology gone mad.

“Academics, former senior staff, community groups, major newspapers, property developers and even prominent members of the Liberal Party have all joined the PSA in condemning the idea.”

Central Coast deserves better than 300 job cuts and slashed vital services says union

Apr 3, 2017

PSA Media release:

The NSW Government has slashed 300 public sector jobs on the Central Coast, with the privatisation of Disability Services and Out Of Home Care now also eating away at the community said the Public Service Association (PSA).

“This is a Government that just builds roads, not communities or a society,” said PSA General Secretary, Stewart Little.

“The Central Coast is out of sight and out of mind as far as this Government is concerned with the highest rate of vulnerable children in Out Of Home Care of all FACS districts in the state.”

“The Government’s ongoing privatisation agenda is setting up the Central Coast to fail spectacularly.”

“If the Government really wants to make a difference to the lives of the people of NSW, it should urgently rethink the catastrophic plan to privatise the Land Titles Registry, a move condemned by everyone from academics to property developers and pull back from the forced transfer of state disability services.”

“The Government trumpets its efforts on ‘life-changing projects’ but what could be more life changing for millions of people across NSW than to lose the security on their property?

“What could be more life changing for tens of thousands of families than to have the care of loved ones with disability thrown into free fall after the Government completely steps away from that space?”

“NSW will be the only state in Australia with no Government safety net for people with disability.”

“On the Central Coast alone, that will impact on 2,735 clients.”

“This is a Government that washes its hands of all social responsibility whether it’s starving the world class TAFE system of funds while throwing millions at dodgy private providers or pushing vulnerable kids into a non-Government Out of Home Care system and then reading the horror stories in the media.”

The NSW Government employs almost 10% of all workers in the Central Coast and is by far the largest employer in the region.

Two years of NSW Government nothing to cheer about

Mar 29, 2017

PSA Media release:

The two year anniversary of the NSW Liberal National Government is nothing to celebrate, the Public Service Association (PSA) says.

“This is a Government that just builds roads, not a society,” said PSA General Secretary, Stewart Little.

The Government’s ongoing privatisation agenda is setting up NSW to fail spectacularly with unregulated private providers who are only interested in a making a fast few million dollars rather than providing quality services for the community.

“If, as the Government claims, it wants to make a difference to the lives of the people of NSW, it should urgently rethink the catastrophic plan to privatise the Land Titles Registry, a move condemned by everyone from academics to property developers and pull back from the forced sell off of state disability services,” Mr Little said.

“The Government trumpets its efforts on ‘life-changing projects’ but what could be more life changing for millions of people across NSW than to lose the security on their property?

“What could be more life changing for tens of thousands of families than to have the care of loved ones with disability thrown into free fall after the Government completely steps away from that space?

“Many will land heavily in the state’s hospitals, mental health facilities and even the criminal justice system, areas lacking expertise in specialist disability care.

“NSW will be the only state in Australia with no Government safety net for people with disability.

“This is a Government that washes its hands of all social responsibility whether it’s starving the world class TAFE system of funds while throwing millions at dodgy private providers or pushing vulnerable kids into a non-Government Out of Home Care system and then reading the horror stories in the media.”

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