Fifty people marched from Newcastle Trades Hall to state MP Jodi McKay's office on August 28, protesting against the proposed privatisation of the Wallsend aged care facility. The rally was organised by the NSW Nurses Association. NNA members were joined by members of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and Maritime Union of Australia Veterans Association.
NNA organiser Nola Scilinato told Green Left Weekly: "Privatisation of aged care is a real problem. The imperative for the private sector is to make profits. The private sector is answerable to shareholders." The profit-driven approach would mean "there will be a reduction in staff and therefore in the level of care", she said.
Scilinato said the proposed privatisation was simply a way to shift the cost of aged care from the state to the federal government, which subsidises private aged care providers.