10,000 march against privatisation


10,000 march against privatisation

By Peter Boyle

MELBOURNE — The Kirner Labor government's program of public asset sales and corporatisation and commercialisation of the public sector was "paving the way" for the next Liberal government's full-blooded privatisation plans, State Public Services Federation vice-president Bill Deller told some 10,000 public sector workers who stopped work and marched on Parliament House on July 7.

The rally opposed both Labor and Liberal privatisation campaigns, but neither party is showing any signs of retreating from their positions.

Opposition leader Jeff Kennett has vowed to sell all profitable state utilities and subcontract and privatise as much of the public service as possible.

The day after the rally, the Kirner government forced through a decision to sell the State Insurance Office to the privatised NSW Government Insurance Office for about $210 million. It also sold the Russell Street police centre to a Singapore developer for $4.7 million.

The sale was conditional on the government's agreement to lease back the building at $925,000 a year for at least three years and to pay $100,000 a year for maintenance. In three years the government will have paid the developer $3.08 million, or 65.4% of the sale price.

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