Jan 7, 2015

Where’s the debate?

– From PSA General Secretary, Anne Gardiner

We know Australians value living in a country where your basic needs can be met even if you are poor.

We know we don’t want huge disparity between rich and poor.

But by not ensuring that public services stay in public hands huge disparity is inevitable.

When it comes to public services being outsourced the voice within many people feels uneasy.

I think it’s uneasy because the arguments for outsourcing put forward by Government sound simplistic and short sighted.

If you look to Britain, which has rapidly increased the outsourcing of public services to the not for profit and private sector, you will see why people should be uneasy.

This mode of service delivery in the UK is called “Big Society” and it is a failed model that the NSW Government seems intent on importing.

Big Society has not demonstrated either a more cost effective approach or improved service delivery of public services.

It has, however, resulted in four UK companies effectively creating a public services industry monopoly and numerous not for profits struggling financially with some being devoured by the for profit sector.

The UK experience should be a salutory tale for the O’Farrell Government.

The fact is private companies are driven by the profit motive.

Corporations by law are expected to maximise profits for shareholders.

Whereas the public sector works to high ethical standards and is driven by the public good.

[an extract from Anne Gardiner’s speech at the launch of the state wide advertising campaign on 14 April 2014]

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