The Turnbull Liberal Government has directed the Productivity Commission to prepare a plan to increase competition and privatisation in community services.
Last Friday, the Productivity Commission called for submissions on which community services are fit to be commercialised and privatised. This could include any and all community services, including support for people experiencing homelessness and family violence.
ASU members should be alarmed - the terms of reference for the inquiry make it clear that the Liberals intend to move the delivery of community services to the private, for-profit, sector – all in the name of “competition” and reducing costs.
The Liberals want the Productivity Commission to tell them how they can make sure that public and private providers of a service are “striving against one another to attract business”. Specifically, the Liberals have said they want to “keep providers on their toes” by the “threat of replacement by an alternative provider”.
ASU members know that vulnerable people are not “business”, and the most important thing for community workers is to focus on providing high quality support services to the most vulnerable members of our community – not to be worried about the Government breathing down your neck to give your funding to a company looking to make a profit for their shareholders.
It is now crystal clear that the Liberals will not invest in high quality community services, and instead, will let companies make a profit off the most vulnerable members of our community.
ASU members have been campaigning to save our community services for months. Just two weeks ago ASU members secured major commitments from the ALP to ensure a fairer tendering process, longer contracts and to stop companies making a profit out of community services.
What you can do to save our community services:
- Put the Liberals last on election day, and tell everyone you know to do the same
- Share the ASU material on Facebook - www.facebook.com/ASUsacsdisability
- Watch this space for further action after the election
Share this news with your colleagues, and if you have any colleagues who are not yet ASU members, ask them to join. It has never been more important for community sector workers to work together to save our community services!
You can join the ASU online here: www.asu.asn.au/asujoin
You can read the full terms of reference for the Productivity Commission inquiry here: www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/current/human-services/terms-of-reference