New schools to be privatised

School Gardeners at risk of job privatisations

The Western Australian Liberal government has hit a new low with their decision to privatise eight new public schools.

Under the new system a private company will build public schools and then maintain them for 25 years. This means cleaning and gardening services will be privatised.

United Voice WA Secretary Carolyn Smith said it was staggering that after more than $268 million in waste following the privatisation of Fiona Stanley Hospital, the Government’s decision was to make the same mistakes again.

“The Government has already slashed funding to public schools, leading 20,000 parents and staff to rally against them back in April,” she said.

“Now their next big idea is to privatise schools.

“They don’t learn their lessons. They just opened the new Fiona Stanley Hospital, which has been privatised out to Serco.

“In the last year alone they’ve wasted $118 million paying Serco to run a hospital with no patients, and blew over $150 million on IT equipment.

“Is this what the taxpayer has to look forward to?”

United Voice member and School Cleaner Brett is angry with the government’s decision to privatise the eight new schools.

“They’ve been trying to privatise school services for a long time and all they’re trying to do is look at ways to raise revenue,” he said.

“Education should not be bought.”

Brett says the Minister needs to rethink his decision.

“He needs to pull back and start putting education on the forefront and start stepping up and taking responsibility for education.”

Ms Smith noted this was a decision of ideology, rather than practicality.

“Privatisation isn’t about saving money: It’s about abdicating the responsibility of Government.

"Governments are supposed to run schools and hospitals, so they are accountable to the public.

“This is handballing. When something goes wrong on at a privatised site like a hospital or a prison, governments get to say ‘well, it’s not our fault’, and dodge the blame.

“Ultimately it’s the children that will be impacted most by this decision.”

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