PSA Media release:
National Party candidate Scott Barrett should publicly oppose the Baird Government’s plans to privatise the Sport and Recreation centre; a plan which will bite deeply into the region around Orange says the Public Service Association (PSA).
According to the PSA, Lake Burrendong Sport and Recreation Camp, outside Stuart Town, spends about $100,000 a month in the communities of Orange, Wellington and Dubbo, which supply the facility with food and services.
“The privatisation plan would hit the business communities of Central West centres like Orange very hard,” said PSA General Secretary Stewart Little.
“Every month the camp buys $1500 worth of milk alone from local providers.”
“A loss or reduction in wages for locals would be devastating.”
The move will also impact upon local Sport and Recreation employees.
“Privatising the Sport and Recreation Centre will be detrimental to the job security, pay, entitlements and conditions of employment for our highly skilled and qualified members,” said Stewart Little.
“These people are not just skilled workers; to many of the kids they see, they are almost life coaches.”
Stewart Little says plans to outsource school camps is driven more by ideology than any real need and will affect disadvantaged children such as those with disabilities and from indigenous communities.
Lake Burrendong also provides 18 beds in its disability unit accommodation.
Groups using Lake Burrendong include Camp Quality, Canteen, Red Inc, Sunnyfield Respite, Westmead Children’s Brain Injury Unit and Family Respite.
School children from as far afield as Broken Hill use the camp and would be left without any school camp options if Lake Burrendong were to fail under the Baird Government’s leasing arrangements.
“The State Government wants to ‘reform’ the Office of Sport based on a 2015 capability review that has never been made public,” said Stewart Little.
“Historically and culturally, these camps have played an important part in education programs for students across the state.”
“Children across NSW benefit from these programs which assist the development of life-skills and the obtaining of learning experiences that they may not otherwise be able to acquire and access.
“Scott Barrett should assure voters he does not support any moves to privatise school camps.”