Privatisation ... in whose interest?


On Thursday 30 May, ASMOF Executive Director Andrew Holland spoke at the prestigious Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre at the University of South Australia in Adelaide about the perils of privatisation of health and how we successfully stopped the government in NSW from selling our Hospitals. ( to listen to the podcast of the evening, please click here )

Andrew spoke alongside A/Prof Jane Andrews who specialists in accounting at the University of Sydney Business School. She has a particular interest in the relationship between accounting information and public policy, and spoke about the impacts with detailed reference to the privatisation of prisons in Australia. Furthermore, Michael Whaites who is the Oceania Sub-regional Secretary for Public Services International, a global union federation dedicated to promoting quality public services. PSI represents over 20 million public service and public-sector workers, members of over 700 affiliated unions across 154 countries.

It was great to see the centre filled with South Australians deeply concerned with the States’ current actions to privatise a broad suite of public services.

For us, it was a fantastic opportunity to highlight that our campaign, in the eight years of outsourcing and privatising public services, was the first defeat for the NSW Government and remains a major victory for the unions and the community. The incredible work from our members and the community in fighting the government and winning all five regional hospitals is a story that is being heard on a global scale.

In addition, we discussed the lack of transparency and accountability and the democratic deficit involved in these contractual arrangements with private operators. And, importantly, the ever growing litany of failed privatisation ventures in health throughout Australia - focusing on the most recent debacle at Northern Beaches Hospital.

Those debacles reflect that the health privatisation model embodies an objectionable value system that severs the fundamental communal roots and traditions of our public hospitals and makes doctors and nurses the instruments of investors and views patients as commodities. In reality, after 35 years of attacks on the public sector there is no evidence to support the claim that privatisation will improve the quality and lower the cost of providing key public services.

As such, we cannot accept this practice of privatisation anywhere in Australia. We stand by our South Australian colleagues and will continue to fight this ideological and dangerous position to sell off OUR public services.


Breaking News: NSW Upper House Inquiry to be held into the Northern Beaches Hospital (click to follow). We will bring you more information when its available.