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Issue #1780      June 7, 2017

Dingo

Total privatisation of everything seems to be the only constant in the policies of both federal and state governments. Time after time the results of these policies are disastrous and serve only the select few who profit from them. An example, Australia used to have a sensible and working system of TAFE training – but not anymore. The system has been white-anted for years and shifted into for-profit training. The results are breathtakingly disastrous. The latest failed training organisation, Careers Australia, had to appoint administrators after the government refused to continue funding it through the student loans scheme. Thousands of students were left in limbo but the directors of the failed company apparently had sent $40 million to the company’s private equity owners in 2015-16 (the last year for which accounts are available). Some 15,000 students and 1,000 staff are yet to find out what is going to happen. And the winners are … certainly not the taxpayers, students or teachers but the scammers and privateers.

NSW seems to be particularly “blessed” with privateers. Former premier Mike Baird (now employed by National Australia Bank on around $2 million a year) privatised just about everything he possibly could. His successor is continuing on the same anti-public path. Everybody who visited Sydney in the last 18 months would know that the city is in shambles – streets are closed off for construction, traffic everywhere is absolutely chaotic. Bus drivers in the city practically run an obstacle course trying to navigate the congested streets. Having created the mess, the NSW government is trying to blame bus drivers for delays. Citing “complaints” from the public they are planning to privatise inner city buses. According to the union, more than 200 bus routes, the entire inner west fleet, will be sold off in the biggest bus privatisation scam in inner Sydney. We all know what it will mean for the public – higher fares, fewer services and crowded buses. Bus drivers are fighting back and they need our support now – please join the campaign to support greater PUBLIC transport. Go to www.dontsellourbuses.org.au to sign a petition against privatisation.

The Queensland government is taking action to regulate labour hire practices. “About 40 percent of workers are now in casual or contract employment. Cowboy labour operations are rife, and workers and their families miss out. We need new laws that protect these workers and afford them the same bargaining power that permanent employees have,” commented ACTU secretary Sally McManus. Dodgy labour hire companies routinely rip off workers and keep them in a state of fear for their jobs, making it practically impossible to raise safety issues or their rights at work.

Next article – Culture & Life – US health care has a relapse

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