Sport and Recreation Centres Not For Sale - Public Service Association

Sport and Recreation Centres Not For Sale

Sport and Recreation Centres Not For Sale – November 2016 (PDF version)

Petition reaches more than 12,000

Congratulations to all members who have worked so hard to collect signatures on the Sport and Recreation petition, to prevent any privatisation, outsourcing or leasing of Sport and Recreation centres.

We can confirm we have now received more than 12,000 signatures on the petition, which triggers a debate in Parliament. More importantly, however, this means we have spoken to more than 12,000 members of the community regarding this issue.

The petition has been an important tool to use in engaging with the community and receiving media around the attack on Sport and Recreation centres. The PSA has done a multitude of interviews, speaking about the petition and the attempts to privatise the facilities.

However, it is incredibly important we all continue the hard work and do not stop at 12,000 signatures. Each signature is another person talking about the privatisation of the centres and the adverse effect this will have on the community.

Sport and Recreation Centres debated in Parliament

As members may be aware, Labor MP Lynda Voltz submitted a motion to the Legislative Council on 10 November, ultimately calling on the Baird Government to “immediately drop their plans to privatise any Sport and Recreation camp and guarantee that their operation and control remains in public hands”.

Whilst the motion was subsequently defeated, it put pressure on the Government through a vote on the house floor and ensures the Coalition Cabinet members understand the seriousness of attempting to privatise the centres.

Orange by-election increases pressure on Nationals

The PSA, as well as other unions, participated in the “Put the Nats last” campaign in Orange, encouraging voters to send a strong message to the Nationals that they are not listening to their electorates.

Undoubtedly the message was heard, with a 34 percent swing against the Nationals, resulting in the humiliating loss of the seat to the Shooters, Farmers and Fishers candidate Philip Donato. Importantly, Mr Donato was interviewed by ABC 702 the following day and specifically mentioned the privatisation of Sport and Recreation centres as one of the reasons for the backlash against the Nationals.

In addition, new Nationals Leader and Deputy Premier John Barilaro has met with the PSA previously and indicated that he fully supported Sport and Recreation centres and opposed any privatisation, outsourcing or leasing of the facilities. The PSA is continuing talks with politicians such as Mr Barilaro in order to ensure the Coalition Cabinet is fully aware of the community anger at the proposal. We are letting them know Sport and Recreation centres are Not For Sale.

Sport and Rec signage

The PSA has been rolling out our Sport and Rec – Not For Sale signs across NSW. To see some photos and keep up to date with the campaign, please follow the PSA on Facebook HERE.

Where to now?

It still appears the Minister will provide a brief to cabinet on 15 December, which is consistent with the timetable we expected.

The PSA is focussed on lobbying relevant politicians over the next two weeks to ensure Cabinet decides that the perceived ‘benefits’ of privatising or leasing Sport and Recreation centres are outweighed by the significant community backlash against.

In addition, the PSA has gained commitments from supporters such as the P & C Federation to do the same. While we are doing everything we can to ensure Cabinet decides to leave Sport and Recreation centres as they are, it is important we have a tool for debate in Parliament and engaging with media in case the Government decides to foolishly plough ahead with the privatisation plans.

This is why we have held on to the petition, as it is the best way for the PSA to maintain pressure after Parliament rises for the year.

So once again well done on reaching 12,000 signatures, but please don’t stop. After the sittings end, politics shuts down and only our efforts through public events can continue to remind Coalition members of the political price for making this decision.

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