privatisation

Retired unionists and community members gathered in Sydney’s west on September 19 to demand the federal Coalition government stop the creeping privatisation of Centrelink and reverse cuts and job losses in the national social security agency.

The NSW government looks to be on the skids after a 30% swing against the Liberals in the September 8 byelection in the rural seat of Wagga Wagga. Independent Joe McGirr won the seat which had been a Liberal stronghold for 61 years.

“We owe it to future generations to do our best to halt this disastrous project,” Greens MLA for Newtown Jenny Leong told an August 22 public meeting about the controversial $17 billion WestConnex tollway project.

According to Monash University professor Chris Nash, who also addressed the meeting, "It is not too late to stop this project".

Tiziri Kandi is an officer with the hotel workers’ branch of the General Confederation of Labour (CGT) – a major confederation of French trade unions. Following the 111-day Clichy Holiday Inn strike in Paris, she spoke with Joe Hayns about the strike, outsourcing, and the limitations faced by railway workers in their struggle against President Emmanuel Macron’s attack on the state-owned railway operator, SNCF.

While many in Mexico are distracted by World Cup matches and the upcoming presidential elections, something big and strange has been going on under the radar.

Five months after Hurricane Maria devastated the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico, 25% of the US colony’s people are still without electricity. No state in the US has ever experienced such a long blackout.

The publication of NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon’s new pamphlet, Sold off, sold out: the disaster of privatisation and how to reclaim our common wealth, is timely.

With the federal government now supporting a royal commission into the banks and widespread controversy over national energy policy, the damaging consequences of privatising many of the country’s formerly publicly owned industries is clear for all to see.

The humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico continues almost two months after two hurricanes hit. The imperialist centre in Washington continues to refuse to provide anything like adequate aid to its Caribbean colony.

The destruction caused by the two hurricanes that hit the island in September was worsened by a long history of imperialist exploitation, which has devastated the economy and infrastructure. This has greatly deepened over the past decade.

After a concerted campaign by staff, trade unions and the community, the NSW government announced on October 27 that Shellharbour Hospital in the Illawarra will remain in public hands.

The campaign forced the government to cancel its proposed public-private partnership (PPP) plan and instead proceed with a $251 million redevelopment of the hospital on its current site.

The adage of moving house being the most stressful time of one’s life has been proved at a West Brunswick public housing estate. Resident Lindi told Green Left Weekly: “One hundred residents are being compulsorily moved. The latest notice on the move is it will be in July.”

Bus drivers across Sydney implemented a "fare-free day" on June 1 as part of their campaign of industrial action against the NSW government's plan to privatise buses in the inner west. Drivers from 12 depots around the city turned off their Opal Card machines and wore plain clothes to draw the attention of passengers to the threat to public bus services.

Sydney bus drivers walked out on May 18 in a 24-hour strike against plans by the NSW Coalition government to privatise public bus services in the city’s inner-west.

The action, which defied the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (IRC), affected four bus depots: Leichhardt, Burwood, Kingsgrove and Tempe.

The NSW Coalition government’s decision to lease the 150-year-old Land Titles Registry to a private consortium of Hastings Funds Management and First State Super is "a recipe for disaster" for millions of property owners across the state, the NSW Public Service Association (PSA) said on April 12.

First State is a $59 billion superannuation fund, which developed from a NSW public sector fund. Hastings is owned by Westpac Bank.

Opposition is growing to the NSW Coalition government’s move to privatise the state-owned land registry, the Land and Property Information office (LPI). Sources inside the LPI are increasingly alarmed at the government’s rush to sell the office as community concern mounts against the sale itself.

New Premier Gladys Berejiklian is already on the run, after only a couple of weeks in the job.

Since taking over from disgraced former premier Mike Baird on January 23, Berejiklian has managed to cobble together a new cabinet of misfits, but is already reported to be preparing to dump one of Baird's signature policies — the forced amalgamation of the state's local councils.

Privatisation continues to be touted as a quick fix, so the mantra goes “public sector bad, private sector good”. That is, using community funds and resources to build up a vital service or piece of infrastructure, usually over a period of many years, then when there is a “budget crisis” selling it off to yield a quick cash injection and the removal of an expense from the ledger — regardless of whether it is generating income or not — while giving sweetheart deals to the new owners to ensure monopoly-like conditions to maximise their profits.

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