Thursday, 28 May 2009

May 30 ‘Stop the Sell-Offs’ day of protest to relaunch campaign against privatisation

May 28, 2009

“Unless he abandons his plans to privatise NSW public services and assets Nathan Rees is headed for electoral oblivion”, Colin Drane, convener of the Sydney Power to the People coalition1 said today.

Drane was announcing the first in a series of “Stop the Sell-Offs Saturdays” on the privatisation issue. They will feature campaigning stalls in shopping centres and protests outside MPs’ offices.

The protests are part of the campaign to force the Rees government to drop its plans to sell off management of prisons, wholesale and retail electricity distribution, NSW lotteries , NSW Waste Services, Sydney Ferries and Pillar, the NSW superannuation fund administrator.

The campaign has the support of Unions NSW, the South Coast Labour Council, Newcastle Trades Hall Council and individual unions.

Drane said: “80% of people in NSW oppose privatisation. They know it means worse services, higher prices and job losses. But, with a few honourable exceptions, the pollies still don’t get the message.

“The ‘Stop the Sell-Offs’ Saturdays will give the people a chance to remind our forgetful MPs that ‘No means No’ when it comes to selling off NSW public services.

“Power to the People has already sent a letter to all NSW MPs demanding that they clarify their stance on Rees’ sell-offs. We shall be publishing the results on our web site (at and letting all communities know the position of their MP. Any MP who doesn’t respond will be regarded as a supporter of privatisation.”

Drane said that the campaign would build on the protests of NSW prison officers, which have already blocked the privatisation of Cessnock Gaol . The prisoner officers, members of the Prison Officers Vocational Branch of the Public Sector Association, are presently maintaining 24-hour protest pickets outside the electoral offices of the premier in Toongabbie and of minister Jody McKay in Newcastle.

“This campaign won’t stop until the Rees government gets over its privatisation addiction”, Drane concluded. “One day the premier may thank us for it, because the government won’t survive the next election unless it drops a policy the vast majority of New South Wales rejects.”

Media contact: Colin Drane 0419 698 396

1. The Power to the People coalition consists of organisations and individuals committed to maintaining public services and assets in government hands.

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