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Public Services Bulletin - December 2014

06 January 2015 By ASU

This edition contains a summary of blog items published by Greg McLean in the previous calendar month. Items cover the areas of local government, energy and water, rail and public transport, international news including trade agreements, privatisation and general public sector matters.

The articles all relate to the blog of Greg McLean, ASU Assistant National Secretary


Electricity Industry Sale

NSW upper house to block the electricity industry sale

Well done! Great to see another politician in NSW - understanding what it means - these words make sense - well done it’s about time the billions of dollars that will be lost to state Govt revenue (and having to be made up by Tax payers) were factored in by other political parties like the Shooters and Fishers - not just Labor! "Mr Borsak described Mr Baird's proposal to sell 49 per cent of electricity distribution businesses - the "poles and wires" - as "a big money grab" that would mean job cuts and the loss of billions of dollars in dividends to the state. Robert Borsak: "We think it's a full sale just being dressed up as a partial sale" Robert Borsak: "We think it's a full sale just being dressed up as a partial sale.”

Beach Library launches in Coogee

This is great article and shows a council thinking about how to engage with their community, getting people to read more, using council beaches and libraries who something free all the better for inexpensive day at the beach - built by council carpenters - tradies - linked with library staff - all the things the private businesses cannot do. Beaches & Lifeguards Randwick City Council has marked the start of summer today (Monday, 1 December) with the grand opening of Sydney's, and likely Australia's, first free Beach Library on the world renowned Coogee Beach as a unique service on offer for residents and visitors. Located on the lower beach promenade right next to the sand, the six-metre wide, freestanding timber bookshelf constructed by Council's carpenters will stock more than 1000 fiction and non-fiction books and magazines in various languages and genres.

Electricity Privatisation

“Business article admits privatisation has not helped with electricity prices but rather privatisation in Victoria  

“There should be similar revenue flow back to government and or tax equivalents on other state owned corporations or government bus enterprises etc.” most corporations owned by government boasts of their profit or return to government both a business as well as tax equivalents, this can have a reverse effect on arguments for privatisation, simply by multiplying the number of years of return against sale price, and represent an opportunity to show the difference in money flow back to the long term assets ownership will always be higher than any sale price, not to mention, jobs, additional employment and profits staying in our communities community“.  

Electricity: the great big hidden tax

Tony Abbott’s broken promise to make child care more affordable

Shadow Minister For Education Shadow Minister For Early Childhood - Radio Interview

E&OE Transcript Radio Interview 3aw Melbourne, Drive Monday, 29 December 2014 Dr Sally Cockburn, Presenter: On The Line Is Kate Ellis, The Shadow Minister For Early Childhood. May I Call You Kate?  Kate Ellis, Shadow Minister For Early Childhood: You most certainly can. Cockburn: Thank you very much. And now this issue of child care and the way it is, I’ve heard on the news, you’re going to have to ransom the house, or hogg the house, to be able to get child care in the future. Where’s it going? Ellis: Well unfortunately we’ve certainly had a couple of nasty surprises coming. We were of course told that child care would be more affordable. Tony Abbott actually wrote to every child care centre in the country promising that if he was elected he’d make child care more affordable.

Child Care Fees Set to Rise

Child Care media

Kate Ellis MP Shadow Minister For Education Shadow Minister For Early Childhood Member For Adelaide Media Release Another Broken Promise As Child Care Fees Set To Rise Beyond Expectations Reports today reveal the Government’s own Budget papers show child care fees will increase more than ever expected in the coming years, hurting families with increased cost of living pressures. Before the election, Tony Abbott promised to make child care more affordable, but official Education Department projections obtained through Senate Estimates –show fees are expected to increase by 30 per cent or more by 2018. “Tony Abbott promised to make child care more affordable, but families are facing bigger than ever expected increases in cost,” Shadow Early Childhood Minister, Kate Ellis, said. “This Government is only good at one thing and that is breaking every promise they have ever made.”

Abbott Government Reshuffle for Child Care

Federal Govt reshuffle undermines early childhood education & care  

In Tony Abbott's recent reshuffle, he has removed the early childhood education & care sector (i.e. child care) from the Education portfolio and added it to the Social Services ministry under Scott Morrison. The ASU argues this is an incredibly regressive step that undoes recognition the sector has worked hard for over many years and will adversely affect our children. Academic research has mounted for years indicating that learning experiences during the first five years of life are critical to shaping a child's future achievement. This evidence base led to child care being recognised as a part of the education owed to Australian children, linked inextricably to primary and secondary schooling. By moving the child care sector to Social Services, the Federal Government is now saying this link does not exist, that early childhood education and care does not need to be considered as a key component of development along.

Premier Announces Royal Commission Into Family Violence

Victorian Premier Announces Royal Commission Into Family Violence

Premier Announces Royal Commission into Family Violence The Andrews Labor Government will establish Australia’s first Royal Commission into the most urgent law and order emergency occurring in our state and the most unspeakable crime unfolding across our nation. The Royal Commission into Family Violence will be led by Justice Marcia Neave AO, Justice of Appeal, Supreme Court of Victoria, since 2006. Justice Neave will retire from the bench prior to the Governor’s appointment. Justice Neave has a celebrated history in academia, policy and the law. She was the foundation chair of the Victorian Law Reform Commission, conducting inquiries into sexual offences, homicide and disability. The Royal Commission will investigate the entire family violence support system and justice system from the ground up, including government and non-government organisations, courts, prosecutors, police, corrections and child protection. Its focus will be on preventing family violence, increasing early intervention, improving victim support.

Carbon Tax Charges

ALGA urges stakeholders to comment on consultation paper on Carbon Tax charges collected by landfill operators

Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) President Mayor Troy Pickard has welcomed the release of a consultation paper by Environment Minister Greg Hunt which provides options for landfill operators in managing funds collected under the now repealed Carbon Tax. The consultation paper Handling of Early Collected Carbon Tax Charges held by Landfill Operators is seeking the views of stakeholders on the design of a proposed voluntary framework for landfill operators (which includes a number of councils) on how the funds collected by the operators under the now repealed Carbon Tax may be used. Mayor Pickard said the paper is broadly consistent with a proposal developed by ALGA and the Australian Landfill Operators Association (ALOA) which, in general terms, was that after meeting all the obligations under the Carbon Price Mechanism, landfill operators should refund customers where it is possible to do so and where it is not possible.

Carbon Tax Charges

Natural Disaster Funding Arrangements Final report sent to Government

“Natural Disaster Funding Arrangements Final report sent to Government. The final report into Natural Disaster Funding Arrangements has been completed and sent to the Australian Government for its consideration. Next step in the inquiry process the release of the final report by the Government is the next step in the process. Under the Productivity Commission Act 1998, the Government is required to table the report in each House of the Parliament within 25 sitting days of receipt. When the Government releases the report, the report will be available for free download from the Commission’s website and printed copies will also be available for purchase.

Further to the ASU submission and appearances at the Productivity Commission re the work of ASU members in natural disasters the Commission has advised the ASU of the following report to government In addition the ASU news and submission can be located at  

Child Care - FWA matter update

Child Care - FWA matter update - As per advice to ASU local government branches earlier in the month

State Delegates to the ASU National Conference who may have provided you with this advice already. The ASU National Conference provided by way of a panel an opportunity for “Deputy President John Kovacic, Fair Work Commission” to address the ASU National Conference and update on a range of matters before the Commission One of the matters Deputy President John Kovacic, advised the conference on was the current position of the UV application for Child Care Workers. Which he advised FWC has received submissions from Unions and Employers and was considering its response to allow FWC to deal with the application by United Voice, supported by the ASU and others. At this stage the FWC was yet to publish its position and we await advice from FWC.

The matter can be located at

Energy Workers vote NO

Massive rejection of LNP spin as energy workers vote NO

Ergon and Energex workers join Powerlink colleagues in rejecting EBA’s massive rejections of LNP spin, despite unprecedented propaganda The Electrical Trades Union and The Services Union (TSU) praised workers across State owned power companies Powerlink, Ergon and Energex for their strength and courage in voting down substandard EBA’s and rejecting the LNP government’s cynical attempt to buy their vote through a so-called one off job security clause.  

see for full details

Rail R U OK Day?

ASU Railway and Public Transport Branches - you might find the upcoming -- Rail R U OK? DAY

TrackSAFE is pleased to report that plans for Rail R U OK? Day are in the final stages of development. A high level industry of engagement is anticipated as the event will be an internal campaign focused on encouraging rail staff to engage each other in meaningful conversations. Two engagement sessions are planned to be held in Melbourne and Sydney in early February 2015. TrackSAFE is developing a toolkit for dissemination at these sessions that will include tips for starting a conversation as well as ideas for events that participating organisations can execute at their workplace on Rail R U OK? Day. Additionally, TrackSAFE has added the new initiative under the Current Projects section of the website to allow people to register their interest in participating in the event.

Subsequent engagement sessions will be held as requested and the engagement material will be made available online for download.

Advice from service Skills Australia

For the Information and Action of ASU members in Local Government Areas of Fitness

"Feedback is now open for the Validation Draft of the SIS Fitness Training Package Components. To review and provide feedback on the content, please visit Service Skills Australia’s Feedback Register and access the project titled SIS Fitness Training Package Components.  Feedback on the SIS Fitness Validation Draft closes Saturday 31 January 2015. Find out more about the Training Package review by visiting our project webpage. You can also keep up to date with the Training Package review and with Service Skills Australia's activities by registering for our news alerts and monthly eNewsletter. To assist in spreading this information, please feel free to pass this information on to your stakeholders/networks. Thank you Kathryn Kelly" Skills Development Coordinator Service Skills Australia T: +61 2 8243 1200 Level 10, 171 Clarence Street, Sydney NSW 2000

“Follow us Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn  

International Day against Corruption

Corruption is an attack on democracy, quality public services and prosperity  

On 9 December we will mark International Day against Corruption. All over the world corruption undermines quality public services, the integrity of its institutions and employees, and equal and fair treatment of citizens. Corruption is an insult to democratic principles, ethical values, justice and the rule of law. It jeopardizes the stability and security of societies, and is one of the greatest obstacles to a decent and sustainable economic development. This is why the General Assembly of the United Nations in October 2003 declared 9 December of each year the International Anti-Corruption Day; and this is also why PSI Congress decided in 2012 to launch a long lasting global campaign against corruption as part of its fight for quality public services: PSI Anti-Corruption Campaign PSI General Secretary Rosa Pavanelli says: "Our affiliates know that corruption has many faces.

Contact Details
Name: Greg McLean, ASU Assistant National Secretary
Telephone: 0419 796 801