PSA anxious about minister’s privatisation agenda

Published: Mon 17 Nov 2008 05:10 PM
PSA anxious about new local government minister’s privatisation agenda
The Public Service Association has concerns about Rodney Hide’s appointment as Local Government Minister because the ACT Party’s policy calls for the privatisation of local government services.
Prime Minister-elect John Key has this afternoon appointed ACT Party leader Rodney Hide as Minister of Local Government.
ACT’s policy states that local government should be confined to core activities such as regulation and flood control. ACT says other services, such as supplying water, are commercial activities that are best performed by the private sector.
“ACT policy says local government will be required to shed services it defines as commercial, like piping water into people’s homes and businesses,” says Brenda Pilott, National Secretary for the PSA, which has more than 5000 members working for local government.
“As well as selling local government services, like water supply, ACT policy says the party will promote contracting out local government services for the private sector to run.”
“The PSA opposes privatising local government services, through selling or contracting, because the public will end up paying more for these services to deliver the profits the private sector requires.”
“Our concern is that John Key will allow Rodney Hide to carry out this privatisation agenda,” says Brenda Pilott.
It’s PSA policy that local government services like water supply, roading, libraries, parks, pools and museums continue to be owned and operated by the public.
“To claim that the private sector is better equipped to own and operate these services has no credibility when we have a global crisis because the financial markets have been badly managed by the private sector,” says Brenda Pilott.
“Our message to John Key is why put local services like our water supply, roads, libraries, parks and pools at risk through privatisation?”
“And why burden the public with the extra cost that privatisation carries because of the need to deliver a profit,” says Brenda Pilott.
The PSA is preparing a briefing paper on current issues facing local government that it will send to Rodney Hide.
“We will be seeking a meeting with the Minister to discuss these issues,” says Brenda Pilott.

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